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Long term grief


trishinca

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This is my first time here, except for visiting soon after my loss.  As I descriped,I lost Tom in January of 2007.  Much of the house looks like he is going to walk in the door anytime, except for removing his clothes, most of his stuff is still around.  I find I don't have the energy to go through it.  When I do, I feel so attached to many of his things, just because they were a part of him. 

Now I feel depressed and anxious.  It is difficult for others to really understand, except for a few friends and the professionals I see.  My family has a hard time with my reaction.  They try to be supportive, yet don't welcome conversations about Tom.

If anyone has any ideas about removing a lost spouse's memrobilia, please share.  I never want to forget Tom, at the same time I have a need to change my home.  To make it more mine, and less cluttered.  I don't have the energy or motivation to have a garage sale.  Family members, for the most part aren't interested in the stuff, yet I just don't want to give his special things away to strangers.

Trish

  

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My step-dad and I are currently dealing with sorting the belongings of my mother. It is hard. Just yesterday we were looking at boxes that have been in storage for over a year. We came across several boxes of Christmas items. My mother absolutely adored Christmas. Like a crazy person. I have no intention of putting up decorations, and I don't even like Christmas, but even I had a hard time getting rid of something that brought her so much joy. It was just a box of Christmas lights she's had since I was a kid! It is hard. When my step-dad comes across something he doesn't want to keep but can bear to throw away, I ask him if he will ever use it, or if he even likes it. If the answer is no, I ask him how much he thinks it meant to her. If it is something with a lot of sentimental value, I dont see any harm in keeping it for awile. For that matter it would probably be good to keep a box or two or three of things associated with your loved one. Just because she's dead, doesn't mean she's gone!

I also felt bad about throwing or giving things away. Then I thought, "Even if she's dead she can still make a difference" and a lot of things got donated to a church or charitable resale shop. Other things I'm planning to take to the flea market. A lot of it would just get thrown away at goodwill. My mother loved going to the flea market, and I have plenty of memories of her there, so it seems fitting to me.

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trish

(in ca....california? me too)

my husband, also a tom, died in jan 2006. the following october my son and i were able to clean out his closet of clothes...i did keep some, but goodwill got the bulk. he also had a lot of memorabilia....actor/writer/sports fan stuff...most of it is still here, heck, all of it is. some of it is probably worth some bucks, and it sits here, put away, but still here.

i don't know when the right time to get rid of stuff is....i think you just know. i have made this home more mine, changed furniture, did small stuff...made things more comfortablefor me and sometimes that just meant different. the changes i made all feel good tho,and 2 1/2 years later, don't feel so different.

i would like to get rid of some of the boxes of stuff he just kept, but..

allin good time i guess. they still feel like a tangible link to him,and i have a 16 year old son who might appreciate some of it.

not very helpful, i guess, but that's my story.

take care,

peace, michele

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Thats exactly how I feel about keeping my wifes things. She passed in Nov 07 and I feel like having her things here is like having a little of her here. I still have her pillows on the bed. The first time I tried to move them off I cried. So there they lay. I just wish she was there to lay on them with me.

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Hi my name is Michelle.........I lost my daughter in October of 2006. I haven't written here since the end of last year2007.  My first year went by and it was difficult. I miss her so much. She was 23 years old.  The way she died is the hardest part. She died in a fire. In her new apartment. Her name was Nicole, she was just out on her own. She was in a wheelchair, born with Spina Bifida. We were so proud of her.  Her wheelchair caught fire, that is how she died. The firemen couldn't get to her. She was trapped in front of her chair that was on fire.

.....................I just recently went through Nicole's things. Her jewlery, clothes and special things she loved.  Everything had this smokey smell. It was hard to deal with that. I had to wash everything.  I cried the whole time I did it, but I felt good about doing it. I have packed a lot of her things in a bag and I am going to keep them in my attic for now. I would love to pass some things on to friend's of hers and our family.  Especially her jewlery.  Nicole was a very special girl and loved by many.  

...The 2nd year is coming up.  This is the time of year I hate. I always get so down. I think of all the good things Nicole was doing before all the bad stuff happened.  I don't like halloween anymore either. She died the day before. She worked at a preschool and had all her halloween stuff out and her costume she was going to wear to the preschool on halloween day. She had drawn the children a neat halloween picture too. I still have that too.

...I feel your pain...loosing your loved ones and especially a child is the worst heart break. The pain is unbelievable.  God Bless you all.

                                   take care........Michelle

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I still have lots of things that belonged to my husband. He died in July, 2006. I have moved them all into a walk in closet under the stairs and when I want to, I go in and handle them...wallet, watch, slippers etc. Most of his clothes are gone but I kept a few special items. I finally took his pillow off the bed but it is in the closet, too. I go for many days at a time without needing to see or touch anything but I like knowing the stuff is there. I am not ready to give everything away yet. Maybe I never will be. We all need to do what we need to do to get through this.

Mary Jo

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I have a lot of my Ishaq's things still and it's been over two years.  I sleep on the pillow that was his; wear his bathrobe,  and keep his t shirts and flannel shirts to curl up in when I am cold.  I have boxes of his clothes that I will occasionally pass a piece on to a friend or a family member.  This year I did pass on a hat of his, that he wore a lot, to his best friend who had asked for it.  It took me two years to be able to give him Ishaq's hat, but it felt right,  since they were so close.   I think how ever long you want to keep your beloved's things is fine, there's no rule that says you have to give things away!

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missingcurtis

To Trish,

My husband passed away in December 2005 and I moved about 6 months later.  The experts say not to move for a year but I had to, due to financial needs

He was  a Vietnam Veteran and I found out that there was a shelter for veterans in our town so I donated most all of his clothes to them.  Underwear, socks, shoes, boots, t-shirts, everything except his suit.  I even tooka lot of veteran's and VFW magazines and some video games.  It was a really had decision but since we don't have any children, I had to make the decision alone.

I did offer his nieces and nephews some of his things and I also kept some things.  But a lot of them are still packed from the move.  I did buy a little chest for my new place and put a lot of his pictures and collectibles in it.  He had a lot of veteran things people had given him.  When some of his friends come to visit I usually let them go through and take a few things.  None of his family has been to see me but I gave them most of all the things we had that had belonged to their parents and grandparents.  I wonder if that was a good thing or not. 

My life is so totally different now than it was when we were married.  I moved to a different town because I have family here but also because everywhere I went there were so many memories.  The memories are still in my heart but I don't have to be reminded of all the places and things we did every day now. 

 I think every person has to do what they feel is best and if it helps them to get by day by day then so be it.  I have a lot of regrets over what I did but I can not take it back.  I just keep going forward.

take care,

Debbie...........................................Missing Curtis

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I suddenly lost my husband in Jan of 06.

It is so good to see that I am not the only one who hold's onto the things that keep the memories close.

My inlaws are moving on, my sil did not email me for the first time on my anniversary this friday -- but me it is different. I was the 4 year old who saw my mother carried out to a suicide, never to see and touch again. Our children were 4, 6 and 16 when Bill died.  I know for them it will be many years before they meet him again and they will want to come and touch and feel and know the love he had for them.

For me, it is so hard to let go , our family was young and so many things left for me to do alone.  I need the comfort of the reminders to help me everyday be ok for my children.

Many around me don't understand as they have not lost a partner or experienced sudden/tragic loss of a parent to a young family. 

I am strong during and understanding of my progression of my grief.  I set checkpoints with my pastor to interrpret how I am moving forward and if I seem healthy and stable through it all, but yet some days I can't help but feel run over by a tractor trailer.

The items, the smell, the memories all bring me comfort and a bit of him into my heart.

it is so good to see I am not alone.

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I too lost my husband suddenly in Dec. 2007 in a car accident.  My children aren't as young as your children, daughter was 19 and son 16 at the time.  I am still holding on to my husbands things too.  It helps to still feel connected to him.  Like his prescence is still with us.  Just trying to box up important things for safe keeping and later when we are strong enough the 3 of us can go through the things and figure out what to do with them.  Our son will be gettting his drivers license around the 1 year mark of his father's accident and his vehicle will be his dad's truck.  The truck still has a sweater and his dad's jacket in it, he wants it left there.  This let's me know that he isn't ready to part with things either.  It is hard enough with older children going through this, I'm sure that with younger children it must be even harder.  I am glad that you have the help of your pastor.  My pastor has been very supportive too, especially since he lost his wife to cancer 3 1/2 years ago. 

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For myself it is hard raising our young children alone on faceted levels.  They however are at this point doing very well.  Our now 18 year old is beginning to level off but she turned all our world's upside down for almost two years after Bill died.  She in many ways has been the hardest to help through this even though she is the oldest.

Thanks for your reply.  :)

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My daughter has also had a tough time with dealing with her emotions.  She has a lot of anger that is hard to take at times.  I just have to remember that she too is grieving.  My son is usually quiet about it.  I'm not sure that is better, since I don't always know what he is thinking.  I can only hope that I won't be in for any surprises later on.  He is now a Junior in High School.  He is very active in the band program and I think he tends to use that to help keep his mind active.  Time will tell.

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Hi eapoosmama.............

   Hang on to those things for as long as you feel necessary. I have my daughter Nicole's thing all packed away in her special bag she used. I can go through it to vision her in the particular outfit or item she loved.

......Your children being so young is hard..........an idea for you..to keep a few really special things of his to give them when they are older. Even if it is a piece of jewlery or a special shirt, book,etc..  They will appreciate it more when they are older.  Making them up their own special photo albums of Dad is another great thing for them. They can keep it in their room and look at it when ever they want.

You are doing the right thing. Because their isn't any right way to deal with the loss of a loved one. You do what is best for you and your family.

I am sorry for your loss. It hurts no matter who you loose in your life.

My daughter Nicole passed on October 30th 2006.........that's in 2days.

It is still difficult....I miss her so much! She was 23yrs old and just starting out in her life. She died in an apartment fire. We found out at 5 in the morning about the fire. Our life was changed since then. We have two other children...At that time they were 19 and 12. My 12yr old had a difficult time but it didn't show right away...it was about 5 months later. We got him right into councelling and it really helped. He is doing fine now. My daughter who was 19yrs old had a hard time, but was verbal about it and she wrote a lot of poems and songs to help her. She also had this beautiful tatoo of her sister put on her arm(at shoulder area). It says "My sister, My angel" on it.  We are all hanging in there now.  

                      Much love to you and your family

                                       Michelle

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Thank you Michelle,

I had read your post from September and realized that you too had been impacted by the loss of your daughter.

I lost my mother to a suicide at the age of 4.  I have a lifetime of experience and feeling to help guide my course in best helping my children.  I certainly agree with you that having things for the boys when they are older is going to be helpful.  My daughter is old enough to remember but there are things she will be welcomed too as well.

I appreciate your kind words.  I hope your 3rd anniversary was more peaceful than the last.  HUG

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