4) You’ve got to accept that people are gone.
After a bit of probing from the therapists on Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive, the hoarders often reveal that their behavior either started or dramatically ramped up after some kind of loss. The kids moved out of the house, a marriage disintegrated, or someone died. The saddest one may have been a woman named Ruth who lost two sons and a husband. Her spouse’s death traumatized her so much that she left his pants on the dresser where he had thrown them for TWELVE YEARS as her house filled up with junk.
When you lose someone you love, either because he dies or just doesn’t want to be around you anymore, it can turn into a wound that you carry around with you. Over time, most of those wounds are transformed through the grieving process into scars, although some of them never heal completely. The problem can be that some people errantly think that they demonstrate their love through suffering over the loss. So, they keep picking at their wound and it never closes. Revisiting that loss again and again, staying trapped in it like a fly caught in amber, serves no one. Not only does it make you unhappy, but it also fails to honor the memory of the person you lost. Even if it did, no one who really loved you would want you to spend years and years suffering on his behalf while your life falls to pieces.