How to come to terms with losing items of sentimental value


We all own items which are valuable to us not because of what they’re worth, but because of what they represent. And, when taken from us, the feeling of loss can be overwhelming.

If you have lost something of sentimental value (perhaps after a burglary, house fire or mugging) there are a number of useful coping strategies that might help you get through those early stages.

Here’s a few ways you can come to terms with the loss of an item of sentimental value:

Try not to suppress your emotions

It might be tempting to try and avoid confronting the complicated and powerful emotional response you encounter after suffering this kind of loss, but suppressing your emotions may prevent your mind and body from responding naturally.

It’s perfectly normal to experience anger when something you love is taken from you, as well as to feel sadness and frustration.

Letting these emotions run their course and dealing with them in the immediate aftermath will be tough, but should help as you cope, recover and thrive.

Speak out

Speaking out is just as important as allowing yourself to process the emotions you encounter in the wake of a significant loss. You can do a lot of work internally, but you might find that talking to somebody helps you come to terms with the loss.

A close friend or family member can be a helpful ally at this time, but even speaking with a work colleague about an item that has been removed from your life due to circumstances outside of your control can be therapeutic.

Objects are closely linked to memories, so while an item may have been lost, you can also remember the good times and memories it gave you by talking to others.

Put pen to paper

If you lose something of sentimental value, the association it had with memories from your life and the people who mean the most to you will be fresh in your mind. This is why grieving its loss is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

It’s a good idea to write down all of the connections the item had for you – before they’re shrouded by the fogs of time. And, while it may be painful to go through these memories and write them down, you might also find it a cathartic experience.

If you need support, the Voice team is here for you

Losing an item that means a lot to you can cause untold anguish – particularly if it’s the result of a violent crime. If you’ve been a victim of crime and feel you need to talk to someone independently, simply give our friendly team a call whenever you’re ready to get confidential advice and support.