Coping with Memory Clutter
Married for almost 17 years, Steve and Jenny had their first son, Jake, in 1993. Two years later, the couple's second son, Lincoln, was born. Their idyllic world was turned upside down in 1998 when Jake was diagnosed with leukemia. After going into remission quickly, the family thought their struggles were over. "We thought, well, we're going to sail through this," Steve says. "We're going to beat this."
Jake relapsed almost two years to the day of his first diagnosis, but the family refused to give up hope. "It was probably right until the time at the very end when the doctors said, 'We have to take him off life support,'" Steve says. "We went in and told him it's between you and God. If you've had enough, we give you permission." Jake died on August 23, 2001.
Almost six years after Jake's death, the family still struggles with what to do with Jake's room. The family would like to turn it into an office, and the family has even cleared out most of the clutter. When it comes to parting with Jake's things, the family gets overwhelmed. "Lincoln and I were having the hardest time moving on. We've been the most attached to the physical things because, as a mom, I pick it up and [I say], 'Oh, I remember when he wore that shirt.' I can't let that shirt go because that's a memory," Jenny says.
Nate and Peter soon arrive to help Jenny, Steve and Lincoln say good-bye to their memory clutter.