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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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I cant bear to move anything of my wife's,Its been almost six months I tried going in her purse on her night stand but started crying really hard,couldn't do it.


It's been almost 3 months for me.  Most of Jerrys personal belongings are still where he left them.  Including his toiletries,  I have moved some clothes around in the closet just to see how I would tolerate an empty spot. I didn't tolerate it well so I ended the "mission" and will try again whenever I feel ready.  I don't think there is a right or wrong or hurt more or less.  It is going to hurt regardless.  Take your time, because if you toss things out, you can't get them back.  It's important not to have regrets.    

My husband ate oatmeal every morning and he usually cooked enough for a week of breakfasts.  A few days ago I was able to throw away his big bowl of purple and moldy cooked oatmeal that had been in the refrigerator since he died on November 10, 2017.   I had to do it very quickly.  And I think I was able to do it because it wasn't really oatmeal anymore.  

I got rid of all the "sick" stuff too, i couldn't stand haven't it around.

I got rid of a few things like undies and some socks which i have no attachment too:) and put some clothes in the basement as a first step. Then i got to the t-shirts and i stopped, too hard.

I will have a much harder time with books and all his collections,he was a bit of a pack rat. 

On the one hand its comforting to have his things around, on the other it makes me cry sometimes. 

I am using his wallet which makes me happy.

This is a great topic.

I wear my husband's wrist watch.  Makes me very  happy.  (On the other hand I couldn't wait to get rid of his old leather chair---all I could picture was how very sick he looked sitting in it at the end. And after he passed, none of the kids or grandkids wanted to sit in "Papa's chair" when they came by either.  So out it went.)  Interesting how some "stuff" gives comfort and some gives pain.  I just do whatever seems right.  So far, so good. Such an individual thing, I think.   

I also wear my husband's watch.  But his recliner- can't get rid of it.  As a matter of fact, I put his favorite shirt on a pillow and stood it up in the chair.  Then blew up a photo of his head/shoulders and tacked it to the chair above the pillow/shirt.  Believe me, I know how weird this sounds.  But I love looking at his face/shirt in the chair.  

That made me smile, shelley!  Sounds lovely and not weird at all.

Went out to lunch today with some close friends and ran a few errands.  Suddenly realized that my husband's watch was not on my wrist.  I panicked, retraced my steps (which meant driving/walking for hours).  Even took all the trash out of a public trash can because I'd thrown a banana peel away there.  I was trying to think of what I could do/make as a substitute.  And then there was the watch in my coat pocket.  Thanked God, thanked my husband, cried and cried.  What a life.    

It has been 27 months for me.  Everything is exactly where he left it, including his glasses on the side table next to our bed.  At first I kept them bc of his scent.  I have found over the past 2 years that I want his things around for now.  I live in a rather isolated area and had a couple of occasions to use contractors which I have not previously done business.  It was reassuring to me to have his shoes sitting in the garage and his clothes hanging in our closet for strangers to see when they come into my home.  For now, I will keep his things.  We had purchased a home in NC a few weeks before his sudden death to downsize our newfound "retirement" style.  I was unable to complete that transaction without him.  Widow fog.  When I move I may dispose of his things. For now...honestly, I want to keep them. For some reason they do make me feel better. I have decided It does not matter what others think...they are not around anyway...

It has been 15 months.   Two homes, one north, one south, both filled with his clothing, shoes, life.   The only thing I have been able to dispose of is 1 toothbrush.


When I lost Susan, I printed a picture of her and placed it on the passenger seat in our van and I talked to her as I would drive down the road.  One day, I picked up one of my sons and he jumped into the truck and sat on the picture.  I told him he was "Sitting on Susan."  He sat there a second, and said "I know this is where Mom always sat, Did you want me to sit in the back?"  I said no, you are sitting on Mom.  He frowned and got down out of the truck and as he started to close the door, he noticed the picture.  "Oh, I see what you mean... Hi Mom" and set the picture on the floor between us.  

I got rid of all the medical stuff, medications, and such.  That was (seemed) easy.  Her makeup and perfumes are still on her side of the bathroom.  It seems comfortable to me, and frankly I don't know what I'd do if I were to strip her side clean.. Something would be missing and I'd be uncomfortable about that.

Her clothes took my a few more years before I could do something.  It was around this last September that I resolved to empty the closets and boxes in the spare room.  I walked into the room and picked up a bag turned it around and read it..."Personal Belongings" I looked into the bag and it was the clothing Susan had worn to the hospital that she never returned from.  I put the bag back and walked out crying.  It was December when I finally went back into the room and started going through everything sorting and tossing, and donating.   I have pictures galore, and some bric-a-brack that she liked, but I've taken four trips into Denver with clothing, sewing "stuff", fabric and yarn, literally filling the truck with each trip.  Now, if only I could figure out what to do with five sewing machines...

It takes time, and only you will know when it is time.  

Until then, they were a part of your life and a part of your spouse, enjoy the memories.




"Moving on" means working out each issue as it presents itself in the grief process - the only goal is to heal. Exposure/systematic desensitization resolves sensitivity to lay the problem to rest. The last thing anyone wants is to recede years later when coming across a memory filled &/or simple object that throws her/him back to the beginning of the grief journey to start over again. 

Healthy, yes. Painful, yes for a time - the end result is that triggers loose their power over your emotions. Your loved one's belongings meld into the background where they were prior to death to keep moving forward in processing grief toward healing. 

Its a choice - like all other issues - one to be grieved out as it presents itself or automatically brought back to once again painfully confront & grieve out at a later time. We don't get to choose what steps we can skip w/out them ever haunting - they always come back to work out/cope with. Sadly, it doesn't sound positive b/c the pain overwhelms the ability to see the benefits, but for me, it was definitely worth it ...

Blessings ...


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