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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 hear you Athena and laurajay.  I took the plunge and got Life Alert for my 61st birthday present to myself. I still have to get it hooked up, but it's not a pendant but the alarms is worn like a wrist watch. I am filling out the medical paperwork today to send back to them, and then get the system hooked up when I get home from work tonight. It's too scary to be completely alone- the dogs don't seem to be able to call 911! My sister will be coming back up from Palm Springs in 3 weeks, so I won't be alone then, but she goes back down to the SF bay area every few weeks. I know it seems like getting a life alert system seems 'little old lady' but it's my way of self care. I know my Rick would have approved.

Peace

Steph

laurajay, I know this won't last forever.  My husband Ron was 15 years older so I saw him slow down over the years.  I also saw it in my parents, of course.  Both were early adapters of an active, healthy lifestyle but age took its toll. Mom is dead now and Dad is 87.  He takes a walk every day but sure isn't what he was at age 65.

I hope I can accept it gracefully when my body starts placing more limitations on me.

I kept the kids - that always makes me laugh ...

I also keep on display many of my mother's belongings as well as Bob's grandmothers ...

There is normalcy in keeping a loved one's items including those not ready to part with ...   :-)

I haven't moved barely anything and it has been about 8 months.  His toothbrush, deodorant, etc. is all where he left it.  I washed his clothes and hung them back up, put his shoes in the closet.  My husband was a bit messy and just picking stuff up and putting the stuff away is hard. It is strange to think the stuff I put away will never be out again.  No more piles of his stuff landing on the counter, kitchen table, coffee tables, etc. I left a lot messy for a bit, but then I did start to pick up and put away a few things, but only to put them where they belonged not to get rid of.  I haven't been able to "get rid" of anything.  I feel I need to respect his stuff, yet I really don't know what to do with it all and in a respectful way.  Just like many have said earlier, as long as holding on to anything doesn't affect my health.

Seems to be more input from the widows than the widowers on moving/keeping the departed spouses "stuff". (To be expected; there are more of you than there are of us.)  For my part, after Mickey died I knew I didn't want to bounce around alone in a 4-bedroom, two-story house, so the "clearing" began early on with the aim of selling the house and moving.  Took about 6 months; what the family did not want or I did not need went to a nearby donation center.  Many trips to Costco for empty boxes and many trips to the donation center; they probably got to know me well there.  But I was able to close on the house at the end of the 6th month.  Funny, when we first got married it was "strange" to see feminine clothes in our closet.  Now it seems "strange" to see the absence of them. 

2.5 years for me. His razor and his electrical toothbrush are still on his side of the counter. His clothes are as is. I still put hand soap on his sink and mine with another. Religiously I replace his towels every month. 

I wear his shirts, a little big on me, around the house. His boxers as my shorts at home. Whenever I do laundry, I still do "his" with mine. And I get to fold his clothes back into his drawers.

I didn't think about doing all these are hurting me or not. I just know after two and a half years, I still try to incorporate his stuff into my routine. Sometimes I am mad that he took too long to treat his illness that eventually killed him but I know I miss him terribly. If I could do anything to bring him back, I totally would. 

We both seem to be on that 2.5 year mark, KayeL.  Whatever routine works for you, keep it up.  We each have our coping/adapting mechanisms.  I think any of us would do anything to bring our spouses back, but it's like King David said in 2 Samuel 12:13 - "But now he is dead,  Why should I fast?  Can I bring him back again?  I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."

Grieving is difficult and I think part of it is accepting they are really  gone and will not be coming back. We keep their things around because it is comforting but also a sign that we are not yet ready for this acceptance. Grief reaches deep inside our subconscious mind so even though you know this, this separation takes time. As time passes, you should be able to “let go” of these things or at least, box them up and store them away.

Again, we are all different. I don’t believe it’s any more odd for those who need to purge right away. Their minds tell them them to get rid of every reminder so as to lessen their pain. Well, I don’t know how that coping strategy works out as I held onto more items. I did gradually get rid of some things but it was hard and left me very emotional and drained so I waited... by year three I began to find acceptance and the process became so much easier. So take all the time you need, it is a personal journey. We’re all human and to me that means we do the best we can to survive! That is why a forum like this can be very helpful. Support can be very comforting too.

Aly saw your post and wanted to reach out to you.   You don't know just how normal you are  !

I asked this same question in different words about 4 years ago when I first came on to Widowed Village.  Funny thing was I thought I was loosing my mind.

Here's the link to all the responses to my question if it will help you .

http://widowedvillage.org/forum/topics/what-to-do-with-spouses-pers...

Take care. 

Doug 

I have keep his eyeglasses where he left them last.  His clothes are still hanging there but I did remove some of his things from the shower.  They made me cry every time I showered.  It's been 2 months and 5 days.  As I have heard the process for everyone may vary.  Whatever you feel comfortable with I guess.  Learning as we go.

It's been almost 4 months now. The 23rd will be the memorial up in the mountains and the scattering of Charlie's ashes over his favorite spot in the world.

I have finally decided what to do with all the guitars, amplifiers, etc.  There is a local guy of great reputation who does online auctions.  I will be taking all the instruments to him to sell at auction.  I think this is the best solution, I will have a bigger audience and the buyers will understand what the guitars are and how the pricing should go. And so much easier than dropping them off for consignment.

As for the small items, I'll let the kids go through them and choose what they want of jewelry, watches, etc.  The clothes have all been donated to the elder care facility I work at.  I have kept things like special shirts, his bathrobe, sweater and an assortment of hats.  I am still wearing Charlie's wedding ring, I don't know if I will give that up anytime soon.

Hi Lost,

So very sorry for the loss of your husband.

I just want to tell you that auctions do not always produce a higher price—it goes to the highest bidder. Depending upon their knowledge of the instruments they may get a real bargain. However if you just want to get rid of them, auction is quick. Have you done any research on their value? You might be surprised.  I would suggest you not be in a big hurry until you look into it, remembering too that the auctioneer will want his cut too.

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