Author Topic: Decluttering and More Grief  (Read 1710 times)

AutumnGlow

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Decluttering and More Grief
« on: June 08, 2015, 04:24:34 AM »
I've just had a pretty big "meltdown" emotionally. I had thought that my hoarding was entirely related to my lack of energy due to depression, but as I'm getting rid of things I'm realizing over and over that they are things that were Jim's, or things that Jim had touched or seen...and that he'll never see or touch the new things. I know it's stupid, but it's like I'm erasing him. It's especially true with Rachel's stuff. She was 5 years old when he died and now she's 8. I've gotten rid of clothes that he dressed her in and saw her wearing, toys that he played with with her and picked up, the car seat that he used to buckle her in to. I cut off and kept the button part of the car seat because his thumb used to go right there...it's a spot that I know 100% that he touched exactly there.

So many things have been replaced since he died...the fridge, the dishwasher, one of the toilets. He's never heard of Monster High or Frozen. He doesn't know that she can swim now or that she was a Brownie this year and went on her first overnight camping trip without me with the Brownie group. He doesn't know her best friend, Isabel. He doesn't know that she couldn't see in 3D and he doesn't know that the optometrist gave her a prescription that helps her to see in 3D sometimes and that we're going to an eye specialist to see if we can improve on it. The little girl he knew is disappearing and this bigger girl is growing up in front of me and he will never know her...his own child.

All of this decluttering is throwing me back in to grief. So many feelings are coming up. I want my life to move forward. I don't want my home to be junked up place where I can't have people over. I want to be happy. I want to HAVE a life. I want to get back to work. I feel guilt, though, about erasing him to do it. I feel sad losing more and more of him when I get rid of things that he touched and only have things that he never even knew about here instead. This is really, really hard.
I'll always love you, Jim.
February 1, 1971-March 31, 2012

NoKindaDancer

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  • widowed 2013, sudden.
Re: Decluttering and More Grief
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 07:52:01 AM »
AG - I've had much of the same experience lately.  I am almost 2 years out -- working on forward motion, but also feeling very dedicated to preserving memories for the kids (and I've realized for me too).  Recently I had my living room painted (moving forward), so all my family pictures and some travel pictures that DH took were taken down.  I thought I would be ok with this, but the urge to put pictures back up was really strong.  I miss looking at pic's of DH and being surrounded by the memories we made together.  I have a box where I put some of those important "touch stones" - the only dress that DH picked out for DD, a shirt that DS wore to the funeral so that one day they are there for the kids if they want them.  I grieve ALL the things that DH is missing in the kids' lives, and all the things he would have taught them...It is so unfair they will miss out on having an awesome dad and he misses out on seeing his amazing kids grow up.

The guilt of getting rid of things though -- I am starting to feel it less.  Sometimes like I'm a museum curator - choosing the best stuff to keep in order to teach the next generation...rather than a grieving widow.  And it has helped me to go through things little by little -- only when I have the energy to do it.  Sort through things and then sort through them again with more clarity of what will matter over time.  I find myself making piles of things to donate, but then keeping that pile in the closet for months before I decide I'm actually ready to take it to Goodwill.  babysteps.

It is such a difficult task. 
"I may not be as strong as I think, but I know many tricks and I have resolution." - Hemingway

1979-2013.
My love, my teammate in life.

Needytoo

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Re: Decluttering and More Grief
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 03:29:09 PM »
I will admit I am having some problems with this as well.  My husband was a bit of a hoarder and I hit the hoarding problem quickly after his passing then almost two years later I am having a real hard time facing it again.  I know I have to but ....you know that grief monster.  I am also having problems doing my husband's chores.  Weird thing it isn't just me its the kids as well and things have gotten a little out of control again.  I don't want too but I have to face it.  It isn't fun but at the end when you see that your labour has paid off and that you did it does feel good. 
Hugs to you AG,I know it sucks. 

lcoxwell

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Re: Decluttering and More Grief
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2015, 06:35:34 PM »
In all honesty, I should have been de littering, in preparation for my upcoming move, some time ago. Yet I find I keep avoiding it, because I am still struggling with the idea of erasing him and of getting rid of things that he once owned, or touched, or wore, etc. I agree, it is hard.
"The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude." - Thornton Wilder

Thank you, my dearest Kenneth, for loving me and for giving me the best 13 years of my life.

AutumnGlow

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Re: Decluttering and More Grief
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2015, 09:40:26 PM »
Thanks everyone.  I hate that you're dealing with this, too, but it's good to know I'm not alone in feeling this way.
I'll always love you, Jim.
February 1, 1971-March 31, 2012

Brenda

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Re: Decluttering and More Grief
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2015, 09:51:28 PM »
Decluttering here, in advance of a house move.  She died only earlier this year, so I don't think I've had a chance to really associate too many things around the home with her specifically.  Good in a way, because it's making it rather simple to draw the line as to what I should keep and what needs to go; the truly meaningful stuff is staying with me, while the things that meant little or that only have a tenuous connection to my wife are going or already gone.  I think it would have been far worse if I was allowed to stay in the house I'm in now for years after her death; little things that don't actually mean much might have taken on a whole new level of significance.  E.g. a chair that she once sat in - at the moment, it's like "no big deal", but in a year or so it might be like "oh my god she once sat there so I've got to keep it."

Still the same feelings of removing her from my life though with everything that's given away or thrown away.  It's the tiny things that really get me though, like a credit card receipt that has her signature on, or a Sunday crossword that I found under the sofa that she had only half-finished.

Trying

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  • aka MissingmyTim
Re: Decluttering and More Grief
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2015, 06:28:08 AM »
Mostly with the decluttering in prep for my move I am shaking my head or laughing AT&T he amount of STUFF DH accumulated. But when I get to the personal stuff, the photos, the things we picked up when we travelled, things we picked out in our earlier years of marriage, then is gets difficult.  But more than the things it's the memories of the house itself.  Milestones with the kids, holidays all of the many many parties  and get togethers.  My husband loved to entertain, even more than I do, he was the ultimate host.  The more the merrier.  He preferred to be in our home, surrounded by people, than being just about any where else.  All of those memories are what I'm grappling with the most.
You will forever be my always.

HvnBound

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Re: Decluttering and More Grief
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2015, 07:24:30 AM »
AG, I understand what you mean about the decluttering and seeing things that Jim will never see or touch again. You and I discussed our differences and how much our journeys are alike and different at the same time. Your marriage was different than mine and so is your journey. You have been such an amazing help and have given me excellent advice over these past three years. I treasure our friendship.

All that being said, I have decluttered quite a bit of late and at first it was very hard, but as nokindadancer pointed out, it gets easier as time went by, I felt empowered almost because I could see progress in the room I was working in, so it motivated me to be able to clean enough so maybe I could actually see the top of the desk or the cabinet. My place was a mess! It also became a mess multiple times, after I would clean it would reclutter itself, I swear there are gremlins in the house.

I am proud of you for your hard work, cause it is hard! Please take care and know that we all get it, hugs to you AG!!!



"It's time to start living the life you've imagined."

  --  Henry James

Sometimes you just have to die a little inside in order
to be reborn and rise again as a stronger and wiser version of you.
  -- Unknown