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Idk if it's healthy for unhealthy for me to keep all his items right where he left them... It's only been a little over 3 months and I still have his razor and deoderant by the sink, and I've washed all his clothes except 2 shirts I keep in a bag so I can still smell him.. i still have 2 pairs of pants in my laundry hamper because I can't bare the thought of washing all his clothes for the last time... His body wash and bath sponge are still in my shower too.. I'm just not sure if its hurting me more or if it's normal to harbor these things for a while longer?

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That is definitely so comforting to hear your points of view. I will be keeping his things where they are until otherwise I guess thank you all so much ❤❤❤

You get to decide. If you look on them and they give you joy, keep em. If every time you see one particular item it makes a wave of grief come over you, you might want to tuck it away for later, or give it away. Your decision, your process, nobody gets to judge.

Whatever you feel to do for you is ok. My friends gave me a beautiful photo of the two of us, which I treasure. I blew it up and framed it. It is in our living room. I emptied both his dressers! But kept his dress shirts. I may make a quilt. They are all shade of blue, which I always bought to match his eye color. I gave most of his jeans and t shirts to his daughter she made a quilt. It was very nice.

Now I am going through the garage and hundreds of tools. I will have a sale in the spring. I literally can not keep it all. He had about 12 vehicles. I have sold 4. I do not want the responsibility of caring for all these items! In a way I feel a bit of weight comes off as I release them. I certainly can't keep it all so I can choose. He will never be gone from my life. But I don' need it all to remind me. The memories are really all I need! And I do write them down as I remember. Sweet sweet memories!

Downsizing is a good idea w/that much stuff ...

There's wrong w/hanging on to your husband's stuff - I find it odd when asked why I keep it. People forget about our kids as well my husband having been the greatest happiness & inspiration in my life ...

People concern themselves far too much about the mental stability of the grieving instead of providing comfort, a listening ear or a casserole ...

Sadly, we even to it do it to ourselves ...

All will be good again once the journey has ended ...  

It's still so early for you, Aly, please don't stress about any of this now. Are you getting out of the house for work or shopping? Are you interacting with others?  Then there's no need to worry. Holding onto things at 3 months is perfectly normal. You'll know when the time is right for you to move his things around or to send them out of the house - or not. When that day arrives, just do a little bit and see how it feels. You may decide to do a whole lot of clearing or just do it in bits. Just listen to those whispers and you'll know. There are no rules about any of this and please don't allow anyone to convince you otherwise. 

I am 7 years out and living a very full and busy life ... but I still have some of my guy's shirts hanging in the closet. And I just recently sold his car. The beautiful wooden box that contains his ashes is still in plain view in my family room along with some photos and candles (and yes, I do occasionally talk to his photos, too ... so I don't agree with Laurajay's comment that this means I need professional help). We're all different. We live differently, we grieve differently. And that's ok.

It is a sensitive process. It took me a while, but I got rid of his toothbrush and other dental things. I just tossed them in a moment of strength. I knew he would think it ridiculous to hang on to everything. Even so, it was after a year or two.

It has been 5 and a half years. I am now "dating" a man I have known in our church for almost 40 years. We are taking it uber slow - like a Jane Austen movie or something. We starting dating on Oct. 1 of this year and we have had long hugs, but still not kissed. I think he senses how slow I need this transition to be. Even so, I still have one armoire filled with my husband's clothes. I have given things away as I could, to people who would cherish them.(My husband wore size Medium Tall and looked ever so handsome. So they don't fir everyone.)  I never could just send stuff to the thrift store. But I also understand that. We have 3 grown kids and now 2 grandkids. 

Photos of my late husband's photo are kind of everywhere in my home. And his ashes are in a small chest where his hospital bed was when he died in our living room. Somehow this man is very understanding. But I may need to tone it down eventually. No sure. But I also have two grandchildren and they visit daily, And I still talk to one of the photos of my husband and I feel his response in sweet ways. 

All of this to say that even though I am dating, yet I have not "moved on." The dating just happened upon me, suddenly. 

I have yet to really tell this man about those things, But I think he suspects there is something... He is a healer, so he has some knowledge of how life goes on and it is rich and complicated. 

I think when people have to move out of their home, it can speed up the process. In such cases with other widows, I have advised keeping a small box, of whatever size makes sense, of special things. You aren't there yet. Give it time as life proceeds. 

You are  wise  to use a safe  slow  re entry  in your new relationship  Maria  Louise.   I've  read  about a lot of regret  and added  hurt from posters here over the past  few years  that  " jumped  right in  the  water "  and later realized  it was  wrong for them.    From affairs to  remarriage.  When you take it slow  you can  sort  your  thoughts  and  see  what the  long term possibilities  are~  It's been  5 yrs for me too  and only this past year have I realized I don't want  the compromise, sacrifice or complications of an old age  committed   relationship  with another man.    Some have  made a transition  to a new relationship  because it was right for them  but  just  like  the rest  of  the grief  process...we are different  and  the  other side of grief has more than one  look.  I hope  the Holy  Spirit  gives  you a clear  view  as you  move forward.  I enjoyed  your writings  I linked up to  btw.    lj

I am only 1 month into the journey and I still have bags of clean laundry that belong to my wife that I haven't gotten up the energy to fold and put away somewhere.  I have not touched her den but it is on my list of things to tweak.  As to the shrine, yes I will have a room that has a lot of her things that I will put up for display.  Her lego shuttles, her rocking chair, and photos.  But many of the other things in the room will be donated or tossed.  I will go to this room from time to time to think about my time with her, and if I move my intention is to build a space with a similar setup wherever I go.  That said, it will likely hold a less pronounced place going forward, but she will forever be a part of my life, and so I will forever keep a part of who she was with me, and these things that I will choose will be the things that really set her apart in my mind.  That said, the room will not be sacred, people coming to visit me will likely be housed in this room.  So no altars here, just a place for reflection. 

So yes, I would say praying at the altar of your dead spouse would be unhealthy, keeping things in their place for some time not a problem. Having a space that you dedicate to the memory of someone so important to you also not a big deal.  It is a balance, and we must all find where our balance lies.  So with time, her closet will empty, her drawers will be cleared, but there will always be a space in my world where my wife's presence is felt and some of her things will stand to remind me of the dynamic and wonderful person she was.  Work to find your balance.  With only 1 month gone for me, I still haven't taken down her towels from the bathroom, or washed the last pair of PJs she wore.  

I believe  a  reflections  room  is  truly different  from a shrine ~ as well.  The only danger  to the mind/soul ,  body  in my belief  is total isolation by choice from ALL  other living  beings  after the initial  rush of grief has passed.  For  me  intimacy and  closeness  with others will forever  be limited  and selective.  My  44 yrs  of  wedded life  have  left  no room or time for  anything  to compare.   Be well Tony   You are on the right path-painful  though it be.      lj

Pleas keep as much stuff of hers. Have someone help you put them in a storage ziplock. I promise you that you will want to go to these things and allow her personal scent to help you cope one day. Right now, place things out of your sight if possible but do not just discard things to make it easier. I did that and I shouldn't have. And....I am so sorry for your loss. I am on 35 mos. It is easier in some ways but if love was deep....this is a difficult journey. I am here if you need moral support. but....seek God. Honestly, seek God and HIS comfort.

---PK

My husbands’ items remain in their original spot as well.  (e.g.) glasses on the nightstand, shoes by the door.  It’s ok.  We get to decide when we are ready to change things - no one else.  

I think this is something where your gut (your heart?) tells you exactly what to do.  And whatever it says is right for YOU.  It has been six months since my husband died here at home in our bed.   I immediately rounded up and threw out everything that screamed "sick"---bandaids, medicines, pads, etc. I still have lots of his things around and I have also given away a lot.  I knew right away that I wanted his casual clothes to go to the local homeless shelter.  He had purchased some very nice and warm sweatshirts and sweatpants in the few months at the end of his life.  The weather was turning cold and I just knew it was right to give them away to someone who might be cold. And we gave away his golf clubs as "favors" at the reception after the funeral. It made us feel great to know his friends would think of him every time they played the game he loved.  But his work clothes still hang in the closet, his books are overflowing the bookshelves, his pens are in the can on the counter, and there are boxes and boxes of paper and memorabilia---to sort someday.  I just don't want to do anything about those things yet.  So I don't.  Do what you want---there is no right answer.  And you can always change your mind tomorrow if you want.

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