• Janeen Mary Chasan

The Collector Archetype in Grief

Dearest Subscriber,

In today's video blog post, I am going to introduce you to the second grief archetype that I call The Collector.

In this video, I outline 3 ways that you can identify if The Collector Archetype is hindering your healing and keeping you stuck in a grief spin cycle.

At the beginning stages of grief, it’s normal for you to cling to the physical objects that your loved one left behind

Their clothing, jewelry and things that they used every day like their wallet, house keys as well as trinkets and gifts that they gave you- all of these THINGS took on a deeper meaning for you when you lost your special person.

As someone grieving, I know that you may be scrolling through texts or sorting through cards and letters that were exchanged between you and your loved one; and you’re savoring every last word that was exchanged between the two of you.

You are probably accumulating photos of your loved one so you can relive all the memories and study the contours of their face...their smile...the light in their eyes.

As humans, we are here on earth having a physical experience so it’s natural to cling to the physical objects that your loved one left behind when they departed from this material world.

All these things that I’m talking about are called Transitional Objects.

The concept of the transitional object was initially started by a British psychoanalyst named Donald Winnicott.

Essentially, a transitional object is a thing that is utilized by a child to ease the anxiety of separating from their mother.

In children, these are blankets, teddy bears or other toys.

Children have these transitional objects until they have mastered a safe and sturdy internal symbolization of his/her mother that gives them comfort and makes them feel safe.

This concept of the Transitional Object is similar in grief for obvious reasons.

When we lose a loved one, life changes. Our anxiety level goes up and we try and control and contain the huge changes that come about after a loss.

Likewise, we are sad because we miss our special person and we obsess over anything that brings us closer to the one we miss so terribly.

I get it. You’re human. And I want you to grieve like a human.

But, after the beginning stages of grief, after some time passes and you begin processing your feelings about the loss- talking to others and expressing your emotions about your personal loss- just like a child who creates an internal symbol of his mother to create a sense of safety and comfort in her absence, I want you to allow yourself to release the grip that you have on those transitional objects that you’re holding on to.

Three ways that you can tell is The Collector Archetype is holding you back are:

1, Connecting to objects and memories are more important to you that living in the present moment. You are disconnected from the people in your life.

2. Your living environment is compromised because you have accumulated a lot of stuff that you deem vital when, in reality, is not true.

3. You experience feelings of guilt when you even think about purging some of your loved one’s objects.

So what can you do about it?

1. Start creating healthy boundaries around what objects connected to your loved one TRULY bring you joy and purge the rest.

2. Start experiencing pleasure in your life by cultivating relationships with your friends and family and start creating new memories in your live

I hope you enjoy the video!

My name is Janeen Mary Chasan. I am a Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist and I am obsessed with teaching people how to grieve like a human. I show people how to get clear and express exactly what they are feeling in relation to their loss so that the healing can begin. And I do this mainly through creative arts therapy.


Join my mailing list: HERE

Like and follow my Facebook Page HERE so you never miss any of my live streams. I go live once a week on my page and I would absolutely LOVE it if you joined me for the live conversation so we can connect about grief in real time.

As always, if you have a question or want to share your grief story, you can always message me. I read everything and I will actually respond to you.

If you or someone you know are in need of grief support, you can also request to join my Facebook Group, Grief Story Connection. My group is a straight up posse of brave and caring humans who will run to your rescue if you are having your grief buttons pushed.


I would LOVE it if you followed me on Instagram @janeenmary for more grief inspiration and education

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • social_periscope-128
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black LinkedIn Icon

© 2015 Janeen Mary Ilardo. No images, audio, or video may be reproduced without permission