I recognize that is pretty heavy for a mid-holiday article, but it's on point for our topic today.

Last week (Christmas Eve to be exact), I lost a friend to an avalanche in Colorado. It was the first avalanche death for the state this year. He made one small miscalcuation and our community lost a friend, a ski buddy and a cycling partner. Most of you reading this have lost someone close to you. It's never easy.

There are many common feelings and thoughts we share. One of the more common ones is a desire to have more time or even just one more moment with our departed loved one. The painfully obvious lesson here is to make sure you make the most of the time you have. It's a cliché, but it is very true.

Believe it or not, we can experience the same feelings of loss, albeit not nearly as painful, when we sell our home.

"Those feelings of loss can be particularly poignant if you have raised your family in this home or simply have a slew of other memories built up over the years," Badger Realty agent Kevin Killourie said.

When I sold my duplex, I felt no remorse or loss. I had only lived there a short while and never really "connected" with the property. Selling the home I built over in Lincoln was a different story. I still knew, from the beginning, I was going to sell. But it did not make it any easier to walk away from that home.

There are a few things we can do to solidify our memories and help in the healing process with this loss. It does sound a little silly to "mourn" a home, but anyone who has sold a home where they do have lots of memories knows exactly what I'm talking about.

The first of those is to simply document the home in the way you have lived in it. My previous house is currently on a short-term rental site so I have the luxury of seeing it anytime I want. Without that, I do have photos and videos that allow me to re-walk through the home and experience it virtually anytime I want. Those show me the colors I painted the rooms and the furniture that I had that made it a home. There's even a handful of pictures with Remy in them which makes those all the more sentimental.

While you are taking those pictures and videos, spend a little extra time in each room and allow those memories to come back. Just sit in the room, ideally before you have packed up all the "stuff" and furniture, and let yourself re-live some of the good times you had. Remember the guests that visited and stayed in those rooms.

Re-experience those moments of laughter and tears, both making an emotional impact on your life in this home. By being in this space, your memories will be more clear and you'll take a more vivid picture of them with you.

Feel free to leave an innocuous "mark" on the home before you go. Since I helped build the house, I signed some of the framing and even painted some smiley faces on the floor before installing the flooring.

I just wanted to put a smile on the face of the next person to expose those areas and wanted to leave a piece of me in the first home that I built. It's seemingly silly and small, but it allows us to stay connected to the home long after we are gone.

Lastly, take some time to document any of the idiosyncrasies you know about throughout the home. We had the septic line run through the back yard and into the adjoining property so the neighbors wouldn't have to dig up our yard when they were ready to build.

My electrician installed loads of three-way switches throughout the home as well as some hard-wired lighting for the stairs. We also ran a vent above the stove that exhausts to the outside in case the new owners wanted a fancier hood system than I used.

I took a little time and wrote out explanations about all of those things and included those with any of the appliance manuals I had on hand. This not only gives the new owners a super handy "manual" for their home, but it allows you to refresh your memory about some of the cool features you loved about the home.

It's the holiday season and chances are good that you will be spending more time with your friends and family. I'm looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and this year, more than most, will be cherishing those times with the ones I love.

Most of the items above can be applied to our close relationships so consider taking more pictures than you normally would. If you're a writer, add a bit more text to your journal about your loved ones. And who knows, maybe you can sign your friend and give them a temporary tattoo — OK, maybe skip that last one.

However you do it, show them you love and appreciate them. You'll be glad you did.

Happy new year!

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