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Clearing out his closet


DJCCHV

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I have put this off for nearly a year. IT IS SO HARD! I have my life pretty much back to livable. But this makes me HOWL with pain as I haven't since the first few weeks after my husband's death. How does ANYONE EVER do this?!?! It hurts so bad!! If your loss is recent, let me tell you, PLEASE!!!, let it go for a while. Just don't do it until you're essentially back to yourself, because, even then, it will hurt like HELL!

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AlwaysHisGirl

Since you are in a great deal of pain cleaning out the closet, I think it must be too soon for YOU to do that. There are places I will not go because I KNOW it is still too soon. However, I believe that one day I will be able to go "there" again, but until I'm ready, really ready, I'm not going and that's no loss to me. I can find plenty of other places to go.

I am sorry for your pain.

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Thanks, Always.

You may be right, but it's half done now. The thing is that my house is a tiny three rooms, and there are boxes all over the place. There have been since we moved back here from Europe, and our income was such that we had to live with it. I've come so far in the past year since his death that I don't know if it will ever be any better than it is now. He had experienced homelessness earlier in his life and would want his things to be used to improve the life of someone just coming out of that. It's just one more of those things that causes enormous pain but that I must get through and go on. I just did not expect it to hurt so much after this much time and having rebuilt a life livable without him.

Those places will become accessible and a source of good memories with time, mostly. Some, I don't know if they ever will.

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While I don't really belong on this forum I felt compelled to respond after reading your post. I am in the Loss of Adult Child area. I think that what you did demonstrated a huge ability to put your own pain aside and to think of honoring those that are in need. Your husband would be so proud of you. I do know that everyone is in a different place when they grieve. We all go about it in our own time and hopefully without too much criticism. Disposing of a loved one's things is beyond hard. Not long after my son died I walked into his room and went about the necessary process of packing up his things. I spent ages trying to fold his clothes up carefully. I held each of his shirts and actually smelled them. As weird as it sounds I needed to find a part of him still here. I had already laundered everything. Yet I wanted to find a connection to the memory of his wearing them. I placed a few things aside that I held particularly close and continued with the deed. It was the most heart wrenching thing that I have ever had to do. I knew that others would benefit from wearing them which also demonstrated the type of character that he was. A true giver. Yes, it is so hard. We all have to do it at some time. But we can not go by others. We have to do it when we are actually ready. Only you will know when that time is. Don't let others pressure you is my advice to all. This is your call.

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Kate you belong on this forum no more or less than anyone else. If you get anything out of the posts here and/or have anything to contribute, why not? I've done similar in other areas.

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I will say this when my husband passed we were expecting it. I had started a few weeks before packing and then unpacking and packing and unpacking the same stuff over and over. Then I just did it - and I am glad I did before he was gone, I think it made it easier on me. I did save a few items a couple shirts that I put on from time to time. I also try to breath in the smell of him even after they were washed. I have a few other items as well and hard to let something’s go. We have to do things we don’t want to do sometimes. Putting our loved ones items in another’s hands is not easy - nor is it fun. Do what you need to do when you’re ready to do it and don't look back just do it. Keep something special you can put on and cry in if you feel the need. Sending love and hugs to all

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Oh hell I have several bins full of her clothes. Things that remind me of her, things I gave her etc. Why not?

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A part of doing this at this time is to get ready to honor the first year anniversary of his death. It's coming up in a few weeks and I wanted to choose carefully which to keep and which to give away and to have some time before then to be sure I was ready to give away the things I had packed up. My husband really cared about his clothes and I know very well which ones he would most readily give up, the ones he had outgrown but still had hope of fitting into again one day. There may be another batch next year that I could not stand to give away this year. Thank you for your comments.

D

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I have to agree that it hurt, bad. I, too, had put it off for a bit. But when our home state of New Jersey was hit with Hurricane Sandy, I saw an unbelievable opportunity to do some good with my Charlie's clothes. I had a friend making the journey from NC to Jersey a couple of days after the storm to bring his family some needed items, so I asked if he would take the clothes. I boxed everything, crying hysterically while doing this, and labeled it very generically. I think that was when I really lost it. It seemed so final. I wrote little notes about whose clothes these were, and how my Charlie and I met on the Seaside boardwalk which was pretty much wiped away. I placed the notes inside the pockets of the jeans and shirts. I cried some more and called a friend and cried to her. It was weeks later did I finally stop crying each time I walked into our closet. I still have his Giants and Yankees shirts and sweatshirts. The kids wear them. I couldn't let those go. My heart goes out to everyone who has to walk this journey.

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Aimee,

Thank you for replying to my post, Aimee. From your other post today, I see that we lost our loved ones on dates that are very close together. One year. It's hard, isn't it, to know that there are very meaningful times that no one else will ever share, physical place associations that simply cannot be described. Steve and I shared the five years we spent together in England, and the day of 9/11, when we each knew that the other was probably OK, but that it was quite possible that either of us could have been there. I had worked on the bottom floor of one of the towers, and was in school about 20 blocks away. I could have decided to go down to the bookstore I worked in. it was one of my favorites and I still had friends working there. He was a social worker and his clients and the variety of their needs might take him anywhere in the city on any given day, and it was impossible for either of us to contact the other. He didn't make it home till 3 in the morning. I'm sorry for you loss and hope there are those you can reach out to on this anniversary.

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DJCCHV - I definitely know how difficult this is. I am also in a very small apartment with boxes and bins everywhere. I have found myself wanting to go through and get rid of a bunch of my own stuff in order to make room to leave Jeremy's stuff alone. I did manage to go through Jeremy's clothing at one point - gave a bunch of it to his nephew (the only person it would fit), gave a bunch to charity, and left a bunch in the closet that I just can't bring myself to get rid of just yet. I'm doing this one baby step at a time. I have come across 4 or 5 old pairs of eyeglasses, and have kept one pair, and will take the rest to be donated to people who need them. It's just so hard to know what to do and how to do it. I'm glad you were able to give some to people who will really benefit from it - that does make it a little bit easier, doesn't it?

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