901 Jones Road | Springdale, AR 72762
1201 NE Legacy Parkway | Bentonville, AR 72712
Referrals: 479-872-3377


I have the opportunity to facilitate many of the Grief Classes here at Circle of Life Hospice.  As the participants process their loss ,inevitably someone in the group asked the question “Have you gone through your loved ones things?  When is the right time?”  The answers are as varied as the attendees of our class. This is a responsibility that everyone who has experienced the death of a family member or loved one faces, and it is one for which there is no time frame to complete.


When someone dies, there is stuff to go through, stuff  to sort out, stuff to keep and stuff to pitch.  Its pictures, clothes, notecards, family heirlooms and family items that conjure up memories.  When someone we care about dies, we know there will come a time when we will need to go through all of the things we are left with.   Today may not be the day, but we know that the time is out there sometime in the future.


As we process our grief and begin the journey following the death of someone we care about, going through the person items is an important part of the healing process. Each  person will decide when it is the “right time” to begin to open the box, to go through the closet, to look at old pictures and other items that will need your attention.  It can be a difficult choice when the decision is made, “it’s time now”.  Some people want to do this alone, taking time to go through items embracing memories, reading a special card or letter, taking in the scent of the deceased clothing.  This time can evoke strong emotions, tears, pain and also bring comfort. You might choose to have other family members or friends of the deceased assist in the process.  I know of one family who used this time together, going through their mother’s things; remembering stories around certain items.  It brought them comfort, laughter and a way to remember their loved one through their shared memories.   And there are also people who do not want to sort through their person’s items.  They choose to have someone, professionally, come and go through, sort, pitch and save any useable items for donations or resale.


All this is to say, the decision of “when it is time” is a personal one: there is no designated time frame, it is whatever is right for you. Just as we know the processing of grief and loss is individual to each person, based on relationships, circumstances and our own natures,  coming to the conclusion that it is time to go through our loved ones things is individual as well.  It may be something you do immediately or something you do years down the road.  You will know, you will feel when “it’s time”.  I hope it is a time of comfort and healing.


Cristie Ginther

Bereavement and Spiritual Care Coordinator

Contact Information

901 Jones Road
Springdale, AR 72762

1201 NE Legacy Parkway
Bentonville, AR 72712



Words of Thanks

  • Thank you so much for caring for our wonderful friends and families. Keep up the great work. We appreciate you so very much.
  • I just wanted to thank you so much for your help and kindness during my father's last days. You and your staff made a difficult situation so much easier for all involved. My family and I deeply appreciate all that you did for us.
  • Many thanks for the good care you gave our loved one.
  • Thank you for all the love, care and support you provided us. We are so grateful for our great opportunity to reconnect with mom and make lasting memories. You helped make mom's time with us better as she prepared you for her heavenly home.
  • The staff at Circle of Life will never know how much we appreciated the care given to our parents. Each of you is unique in your own ways.
  • Thank you for your wonderful care. Circle of Life is a wonderful place and we appreciate you all so much. Thank you for your kind and gentle care of our family member.
  • My family was so pleased with how you took such good care of my wife in her final days.
  • Thank you so much for the love and care of our loved one. Your kindness will live on in our hearts forever.
  • Your care of mom was such a blessing - at our home and at the hospice home. Such kindness and genuine love for those who are dying. You all provide such a valuable service. May God bless you in return.
  • Thank you so much for the excellent care of our loved one at this most difficult time of life.
  • Thank you so very much for the care and compassion you showed mom. She loved you all and you made her last year much better.
  • Many thanks to all of you for the wonderful thoughtfulness, care and kindness for our friend and his family in his final days.