pick up the pieces


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pick up the pieces

To try to return a situation to normality after a tragedy or trauma. After our son committed suicide, we were left to pick up the pieces in a silent home. Now, 10 days since the hurricane made landfall, residents are struggling to pick up the pieces.
See also: pick, piece, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pick up the pieces

 (of something)
1. Lit. to gather up each piece or part. Norma picked up the pieces of the broken lamp. She stooped down to pick up the pieces.
2. Fig. to try to repair emotional, financial, or other damage done to one's life. I need some time to pick up the pieces of my life after the accident. After a while, Fred was able to pick up the pieces and carry on.
See also: pick, piece, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pick up the pieces

Redeem a bad situation, restore matters to normal, as in Once fighting ended, the task force picked up the pieces and restored democracy. [Late 1800s]
See also: pick, piece, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

pick up the pieces

COMMON If you pick up the pieces after something bad has happened, you do what you can to get the situation back to normal. He helped me pick up the pieces of my shattered career and finances. People in the high desert communities are picking up the pieces after last night's earthquake.
See also: pick, piece, up
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

pick up the pieces

restore your life or a situation to a more normal state, typically after a shock or disaster.
See also: pick, piece, up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

pick up the ˈpieces

do what you can to get your life, a situation, etc. back to normal after a disaster, shock, etc: After his son was killed in a car accident, it took him a long time to pick up the pieces.It’s always the same with her husband. He upsets everyone and then leaves her to pick up the pieces.
See also: pick, piece, up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
And while the Tories continue to hammer the poor, the Scottish Parliament is left to pick up the pieces.
There are plenty of private companies waiting to pick up the pieces.
WHILE most of Merseyside was out celebrating the New Year with the odd drink or 10, it was left to medics to pick up the pieces.