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Progress has been very slow but as my husband always said, "It may be slow but it's progress as long as it's moving forward."  Today I am waiting for the arrival of two tow trucks to pick up Bob's two vans.  I'm donating them to a charity that uses the proceeds to fund the education of under privileged children.  One is good for nothing but scrap, the other is old but runs fine.  They're happy to get them and I will be happy to have them gone.  Donating the vans is my first act of releasing Bob's possessions.  I'm starting with the least difficult to let go of.  I'm not emotionally attached to either vehicle as I don't drive and they both were bought for utilitarian purposes, not for aesthetics.  Bob drove one just for running errands.  The other is here only because we had to take it with us when we moved here 12 years ago. 

Bob had dementia and was a bit of a packrat and kept newspapers and old mail.  I'll have no problem shredding and recycling all that.  I've already begun the process but with all the other stuff I've got to do it'll take me months to get it all shredded and thrown away. I probably should have maintained better control over his penchant for holding onto useless things but I just chalked it up to what he'd been taught as a child during the Depression.  Back then one saved everything because you never knew when it might come in handy. 

I'll sort out his clothes last.  He had a lot of clothes the he never wore.  Some had never been opened.  So there's 90% of it that I'll donate but there are a few special items - a couple of shirts, a pair of pajamas - that were his favorites and he wore every week.  Strange how a person's life is reduced down to what they owned and when they're gone, what they had is sorted out and dispersed until there's hardly anything left. 

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Comment by Athena53 on October 10, 2018 at 2:33pm

I'm glad you feel better with the empty spaces.  I'm finding that I enjoy that more and more.  I never did like clutter and it's so much easier to clean the house when there's less Stuff in it.  My son and daughter-in-law are selling their small house and buying a larger one (hoping to have a 3rd child- woo-hoo!) so maybe I can get them to go home with some things! 

Comment by Pegasus on October 10, 2018 at 8:13am

Still new at this so I don't know if this is the right way to respond to Shellybean but.....Thank you so much for your encouragement.  I watched as the vans were loaded onto the tow truck.  Since I'd fretted about how I'd get rid of them, I thought it would be an exhilarating, freeing moment but instead there was just a slight bit of nostalgia, mixed with a reluctant sense of relief.  I wasn't sad to see them go though.  Today it feels great to see empty space in the garage and in the driveway.  Now that the outside is uncluttered, it's time to start working on the inside.

 

Comment by shellybean on October 9, 2018 at 11:23am

Pegasus, it sounds like you're making great strides! How does it look and feel outside with the vans gone? I'm proud of you!

Comment by Athena53 on October 8, 2018 at 3:20pm

Yes, that IS progress and maybe it will get easier when you see how good you feel with the two vehicles no longer taking up space.  My husband Ron died two years ago and, like you, I'll never get rid of 100% of his things, especially a couple of his sweaters that I like to wear when it's cold.  When we were downsizing the home stager told us to "curate" our collections; display only a few pieces of artwork or items form a collection.  A very good book I read on the subject ("Rightsizing Your Life") recommended something similar:  when you have a large quantity of something, save a few of the most beautiful, most meaningful, etc. and give, pitch or sell the rest.  I've found it particularly useful to list things as Free Stuff on Craigslist- first to arrive gets them, and no one knocking on my door.  I just put them at the end of the driveway.

Even two years later I'm still divesting; I'm happy with the cleaner, uncluttered look of the house (and the fact that most things will be reused) but sometimes I picture Ron coming back and saying, "what happened to...?"    

Irrational, I know- but we're allowed to be!

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