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My wife of 19-years passed away from an incurable disease 2/12/2014.  The week after the funeral, I enlisted the help of my sister-in-law to go through 3-boxes of her books and some clothes.  What a mistake that was!  Books - no problem, take them all.  Clothes - Man did that rip right through me; and it was my idea!  How stupid can I get?  Guess I didn't learn my lesson since I'm posting it for all to see. You're thoughts?

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I guess you were just not ready. I waited for about 4 months and enlisted my sister to clean out his closet. About a year after that my son and daughter in law lost a child late into her pregnancy and my son commented on how she did not want to look at any of the stuff they had collected. I had begun to regret that I had got rid of Bills clothes like I did, and I shared that with Nate, that with time, the pain won't be so bad and you might want the memories. When I called my sister to tell her that, she told me that without me knowing it, she had saved a bag of Bills shirts in case I wanted to make a quilt or something. I don't know if this helps anyone or not, It is just my story 

You were blessed with a wise and wonderful sister. :)

My wife of 36 years together passed away Nov 27/2013. I have not touched anything, and I don't think I will for some time yet. It will rip my heart out when I do...


I heard you loud and clear.  Wish I had thought things through before I attempted it myself.


My husband of 39 years passed away October 27/13.  I have dealt with some of his clothes to family members.  Other items I have just put away as I know that later on I will want to have some of his clothes near to me.  His favourite shirts are still handing in the closet for me to see each day.  I got comfort from giving little things to our family as it meant so much to them and I know my husband would be happy with my decision.  We all need to take our own time and not be judged or pushed by people who think they need to tell us how to deal with personal effects.  Your wife will give you a signal when it is time to make a change.  

My husband past away 8 months ago.  The only room I was able to go through was the bathroom and that took me 6 hours of crying over hairbrushes, razors, shampoo, contact solution, contacts and other stupid meaningless items.  I haven't touched anything else of his in our bedroom, his man cave in the garage, or his "toy room" which is his diecast car collection.  I cannot do it.  I completely breakdown and get overwelmed.  I know I will and I actually have been putting thought into how to go through his clothes.  I'd like to make a quilt out of some of his t-shirts from traveling together.  I think that will be my first step in going through his clothes.  

If you don't need to go through it right now, then I say wait until you are really ready to go through stuff.   


Thanks for sharing your experiences.  I think your last line says it all.  

Also, I need to stick to my way of thinking about the house when I had to place my wife in the nursing home.  I refused to change things around too much because I wanted her to recognize "home" when I could still bring her home for a few hours.  Since her passing I have done like you & many others on here and left things as they were.  Mostly because of the gutwrenching pain and to a lesser extent I'm just exhausted.  We still have a Christmas tree in boxes in our livingroom & I don't dare cross that imaginary line in the bed or risk getting an elbow & told to get back on your side!  Hell, I may take my half out of the middle tonight just to see if she's still in the room in some way.  

My prayers for your comforting and healing in this most difficult time.

Today - after 19 months - today is the first day that I crossed that "imaginary line in the bed" - I awoke with my feet WAY over on his side of the bed. I was sleeping diagonally. I also dreamed of him last night. I don't know what to make of it - because I usually don't get turned around when I sleep. - I went through some of his things - with a dear friend - in stages early on - but I still have a few drawers of his things, and one section of the closet. I gave some of the things to my son, and some to the son of my friend  - who is tall like my husband was. If I need to move out of the house, I would have to pare down much more -to a few precious items.

Once in a while - I still find something that remind me of his illness -so I get rid of that... I guess there are ares I don't look in...Take it in stages - but I now realize he would want me to enjoy the house... I do have some large lovely photos of him on the walls... and other things...

Maria Louisa, thanks for the reply.  That's funny about the sleeping diagonally.  I have been diagnosed with restless leg syndrome not sure how long ago now, but remember it by my wife's downhill progression landmarks.  Won't get into the details here, except to say I got many elbows in the back or just plain woke up and told to roll over.  

I would like to send you a friend invite then possibly discuss one of your other replies I jus now saw.  Nothing bad or freaky, just looking for discreetness.


Hi Doug,

Did you ever send me the message you refer to above? Sorry if you did and I somehow forgot... I read you post again because you posted this to facebook...  tomorrow - August 6 is the 2 year anniversary of my husband's death... Although I am stronger than last year - my eyes welled up just writing that...


Thanks for sharing your experience.  I never thought about the quilt idea.  Too cool!   I think I'll put some clothes back in a vacuum bag to save space then place in a locking type plastic storage container to hopefully keep out mice.  Then store upstairs for our 13-year old daughter.  Probably should put a note in this time capsule so if something happens to me, it will be apparent what the intent was for doing this.  I think when our daughter is older she too will treasure this.  Thanks again for sharing.  Doug

Doug, It's been almost 2 months since my husband died. I work at a school where the students have to wear uniforms. I donated some of my husband's belts and ties to school for students who "forget" theirs. I also saw in my church bulletin that a local hospice was looking for polo shirts so I hope to donate some there. But I'm moving slowly and not putting a time frame on anything. I think when the weather changes and I pack away my winter clothes I'll also pack away his so I can donate them next fall.
I did clean out the bathroom a week after he died because I wanted to throw away all the reminders of his illness -- the medicines, lotions, soaps from the hospice. One of the hardest things was throwing out his toothbrush.
His bathrobe is stll hanging on the hook on the back of the door.
Very painful to discard the personal items that made up his everyday life.


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