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?
I have been slowly removing those things that I never cared for, books I will never read, music I don't like. This by no means leaves me with bare shelves and closets, just much less cluttered. I have 1/4 of a closet full of clothes I will not at this time get rid of. The bathroom is now mine, but the drawers in there are still just as he left them. I'll be able to condense some bookcases and reduce the number of them in the living room, giving me that much more space.
I found myself drinking coffee out of his favorite cup, it was still in the dish drainer. Some things I have taken out of boxes, containers, drawers and put them back. We had our own little tradition of buying matching rings that we would wear as wedding rings, until the next ring design caught our "magpie eye". I dug through his jewelry box until I found our original wedding rings and am now wearing them. Don't know if that will ever change from now on. Maybe, maybe not.
I do seem to just be moving things around and around, not knowing where to put them. I did get the top of his closet cleaned out, I think I will put organizers up there and make it a landing place for those things I find in drawers, like the huge pocket knife collection, pocket watches,
I am at 3 months of losing my husband to sudden death. Luckily, he was extremely organized and was constantly cleaning out his closet, bath room, and office- and I am so glad that he did! It will one day make my job of moving his things much easier. I like the 1 box idea....God only knows when that will be for me.
I too, like others, can't even take the towel off the hook. I have tried and I always end up putting it back...I had to throw everything away in the refrigerator, when I had to replace it- his soup, his yogurt and his apple... I found that throwing away 'his' last apple was emotional. It seems so difficult to discard the tangible items that remind us of them.
I sleep in his business shirts now- I am using them one by one. I sip coffee from his mug, sit in his chair, wear his wedding ring on a necklace and I write down things that he used to say as I remember them.
He was my everything: best friend, partner in life and in business. We spent close to 23 hours a day together.
Lately, the pain seems to rush in and just sweep me away. I hope and pray this gets better over time.
There are still moments I think I won't survive this journey. The shock has worn off and I am left with the
harsh reality that he is never coming home. I am comforted by reading these forums here to know what
I am going through is normal.
Lost Izzie: This pretty much describes me, too. I am slowly getting rid of things that I will never want. And still there are MANY things of his all around me. I find I can clean out things of his like the bathroom drawers, the bedside table, every now and then when I get the idea/gumption to do so. Lots of stuff still sits, and that's ok. It was easy for me to give away his winter casual and sports clothing as we have a homeless shelter nearby that he supported and when the weather turned suddenly cold I realized that he would want me to do so! He had so many nice, new-ish sweatshirts and pants; nice to think someone is warmer because of him. The suits and dress clothes are another "kettle of fish" though. I have no idea what to do with them. No shelter or "re-entry" program wants expensive traditional suits.
I wear his watch every day. Makes me happy.
Immediately after Gary’s death, I felt the need to change my apartment, but since I was unable to get rid of his things, I focused on getting rid of my own junk and clutter instead. From there I progressed to clearing out one of his chaos areas and turning it into part of a memorial area that includes his favorite photo of him and his (deceased mother), and other items he and I treasured. Then I started renovating each room of my apartment.
My apartment is filled with things that belonged to Gary, but I’ve modified almost all the areas designated as “his” in life. It was most painful to dismantle and store away Gary’s recording equipment. He spent the last months of his life recording an album of flute music for me to remember him by. I turned that empty space in our bedroom into a reading nook strategically placed so that I can view the small altar that he used for meditation. Half of the items on his altar were either mine before our marriage or things I’d given him, so “his” altar symbolizes the union of the two of us. It’s a very private space that very few people ever see except me. I like having one small space that exists as it did when he was alive.
Because I now view “his things” as my things, I see no reason to get rid of anything more than I already have. We shared the same taste in books, art, and objects, including two photographs taken by my mother-in-law that I’ve always loved, and a decorative Japanese tea cup his first wife had given him when they were married. It took Gary a couple of years into our marriage before he confessed about the origins of the tea cup, but by then I it was already one of my favorite items and I was secure in his love for me.
Gary’s ex-wife and I actually met for the first time when she traveled 5 hours to say goodbye to him in the hosptial. I further bonded with his ex-wife when we united and successfully encouraged Gary’s estranged father to begin calling him on a regular basis when Gary was in hospice. So, the tea cup has greater meaning now than when Gary was alive.
Short answer - yes it is normal :-)
There is no "normal". Whatever you do in the privacy of your own home and comforts you is your business. JMHO.
I just had another thought about this subject. It would be far more strange if not abnormal to remove all his belongings - mostly pictures ...
It would be like erasing him, your marriage & past ...
Sooner or later you will have to find a way to desensitize yourself from them ...
Some find it easier to temporarily store pictures in a drawer - not sure if it helps ...
I just avoided looking at Bob's pictures when survivor's guilt got to me ...
Some do it when they are ready to date or simply as a personal decision in moving forward. Not sure how either works or if they do since the memory can be triggered any place, any time, by anything ...
I tried downsizing a year later, but there was a memory meltdown w/each item as well as w/clothing. Bob had nearly 100, more than half were golf shirts - those held the strongest triggers. That was horrific! I left them hanging in the closet till I was desensitized enough to put them space bags to haul upstairs for storage. Ten years later, our kids occasionally go through his shirts looking for a memory of Dad - they were young when he died. I can't afford to make mistakes in getting rid of any of Bob's belongings more so now for the kids who are not in their twenties. I can look at them now & easily let go when looking at their condition ...
Part of his personal belongings I have kept are the kids - there were times I wished gypsies would've taken them ... :-)
Time does heal ...
Not yet 2 months, but I did a clear up of the last dresser drawer and Charlie's nightstand. I had three boxes -Trash- -Keep- and -I Don't Know- There was more Trash than I thought there would be. The other two categories are in plastic sweater boxes and in the top of the closet. When the kids come this summer we will go through the boxes and decide then what they would like and then I will be left with the rest. I have kept those things that I want, like his Buck Knife and certain bracelets/rings/watches.
I found his wool/flannel lined sweater, it was under a pile of blankets in the corner of the bedroom...I was beginning I think I had given it away. It is warm...and smells good.
It's been 18 months and I cannot remove Martin's wallet with the $5 bill on top from the nightstand. Nor can I wash out his sink in the bathroom or clean his mirror. I have trouble changing my sheets because I just get overwhelmed that he is "still" not here, it's not a dream. I have cleaned out all of his clothes that I don't need. I am having some leather items repurposed for my children. I look around some days and see the gifts or trip "treasures" he gave me and I smile and miss him some more.
My kids have all "stolen" some of Martin's sweatshirts or t-shirts to wear. It makes us all happy. (Go Blue!! )
It will be six months for me on May 10 and I am unable to change the bed sheets. I'm not sure why. Maybe because making the bed was always something we did together. More I think because I'm afraid I'll remove some last part of him- his smell, his essence. In the days after my husband died, I slept fully clothed on a corner of the bed, taking up as little space as possible, far away from 'his side' of the bed. I now fall asleep on 'my side' of the bed, and find myself eventually on 'his side' of the bed. I don't sleep well, waking up every hour or so. Have very weird dreams. Last night I dreamt that my husband's parents were still alive (they're not), it was a pleasant surprise because I could get in touch with them, talk to them about John. Later in the dream I learned that they were in poor health and unable to communicate. I have lots of dreams about hope and then loss.
There is no "normal" in the grief experience. Everyone responds to it differently, and everyone finds his/her own method of coping differently. JMHO.
Totally agreed (although I have to admit I'd have a very hard time keeping the same sheets on the bed for 6 months!).
I probably gave away or donated more than average in the early months but, 17 months later, I'm still occasionally moving a few things out. Just last week I sent family photos to Ron's brother, who requested them. I suspect this will continue but there are some things I'll always keep.