Jump to content

Young Widow Forum

Register to view blogs.

laurie27

Getting Rid of His/Her Clothes

Recommended Posts

When did you get rid of his/her clothes. I saw a therapist yesterday and he told me to get rid of Mark's clothes right away, he even argued when I said I wanted to keep 5 or 6 shirts to make a memory quilt. He thought the memory quilt was a bad idea as it would always remind me of Mark...which is sort of the idea behind having it. His suggestion when I said no way was to take the 5 or 6 shirts and put them in a closet that I don't use every day. Please let me know what you think. 

Share this post


Link to post

Ignore this demand!  Take as long as you want to go through your husband ‘s personal possessions!  Keep as many shirts as you want!  Make as many quilts as you please!  This is your prerogative. 

 

Maureen

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Most widows and widowers I know did this in their own time and when they had the desire to. Few purge so quickly unless their situation has a short timeline so they are forced to. I purged and donated items I knew he meant to get rid of when he had time the summer after he passed. My kids currently have comfort wearing his T-shirts and hoodies. It’s been 3 years for us and we are now ready to sort what we want to keep. We plan to donate the rest to a men’s homeless shelter. I took some shirts out of the laundry immediately when he passed away and bagged them so when I was in a low place, I could smell him and have that little comfort. I needed that much that first year. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you @Wheelerswife and @Julester3 for replying, I thought maybe I just didn't know what to do. I thought it sounded a bit extreme. Hugs to you both, you have helped me a lot just reading your posts about what you have been through.

Share this post


Link to post

Agree that this entirely needs to be on your own timeline.  I didn't want regrets on letting his things go too soon, and looking  back it was good to take plenty of time to make decisions.  At 5 1/2 years out, I still have a few sweatshirts of his that I like to wear, and my kids have a few shirts of his too. Although I happily got rid of his work suits right away, and didn't regret it.  If you have the space, I'd suggest giving more time to purging.   

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you for that input, I was just thinking that I found a really expensive dress coat and I want to see that go to someone I know that can use it. I was thinking of doing it maybe half way, by getting his things (clothes, camera, hats and such) out of "our" closet and put them upstairs and go through them when I am ready, but not have to look at them everyday. What do you think of that as a solution?

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, laurie27 said:

. I was thinking of doing it maybe half way, by getting his things (clothes, camera, hats and such) out of "our" closet and put them upstairs and go through them when I am ready, but not have to look at them everyday. 

This is a perfectly fine solution. I echo everyone else's sentiment. I am not sure what kind of therapist would argue that memores are not a good thing. Sounds a bit pushy and out of line to me. Is this your first visit with the therapist? I am not sure I would invest much time in someone who would shut me down like that...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Hachi, Yes, it was my first visit, which is why I thought to ask for some thoughts. This website has been so helpful to me. Just knowing that what I am going through is "normal", not crazy has been a big help. Thank you for your input.  I think I will try one more visit because he did help with some things, but if he get too pushy about memories, I won't go back, because memories is all we have left.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I could see if you had spent a few sessions with him and he noticed that seeing these things was upsetting to you, but sometimes people have set ideas about how to handle grief, and everyones path is so different. You have to find out for  yourself what is helpful and what harms you. A therapist should be a guide, not a director. I am glad he helped you with other things, and I suppose his reaction was reasonable when he suggested soemthing different, but in my mind, he was still suggesting you take steps that you don't seem ready to take. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I think that is a good solution placing his items somewhere else if you have the space. I actually redid our bedroom a bit and it helped me tremendously. I rearranged furniture, bought a new bed frame, and new sheets. I have his dresser still and some of his items in the closet but it didn’t bother me so I didn’t move them. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I have a 3 bedroom house with an upstairs that isn't used for anything which is what made me think to put his things upstairs and give it a try to see if it helps me.  My other problem is going through his coats, he has a very expensive dress coat, which I don't want to just take to Goodwill. I'm not sure, I think I will ask around and see if one of the gentlemen at church could use it. To be honest I had forgotten all about it. When we were first married, he was a sales executive in New York City, so he still has a lot of formal wear that he stopped wearing. A lot of it I am sure is dated, but not the dress coat. 

Share this post


Link to post

I am shocked at your therapist's suggestion.  I wonder if he has grief training at all.  Cannot understand his recommendations at all. Why we have memory quilts, bears, jewelry, etc.  So strange.  

Your grief, your rules.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

I waited until 3 months after my wife passed, but asked her Mom and sisters to go through it and take any souvenirs they wanted, kept a few special things for my daughter.  I gave the rest (bags and bags full) to a battered women's shelter.  I agree with the others that you should do this whenever you feel ready unless it's causing you harm or distress.  What is the rush?! Everyone's timeline is different, listen to your instincts/heart. Hugs

Share this post


Link to post

I've got to echo the therapist concern.  I've known more than my share but only respect a very few.

As tybec said, Your grief, your rules.

Everyone is different.  I donated almost everything to a local community very quickly because the momentum was there and the need of the community is great.  But I kept something in every room.  I am wearing her unisex PJs right now and they feel sooo good.

Share this post


Link to post

F@c% this guy! Do what you want and need to do. No one has the right to tell us what to do!

Sorry in advance for the curse word but that's what I feel when I read suggestions like that.

I love and miss you Latisha, my Beautiful Angel.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Good Morning Gang, Thanks for all the thoughts. I think I am going to follow my heart and keep all of the good stuff and see if there is a young professional who might need it. Then I am going through the shirts for the quilt (I decided to back the quilt with the flannel and fleece shirts) and put that upstairs and give the rest to a men's shelter as many of you have advised (it will make me feel good to help someone in need). All of you guys are great, you have helped me so much go through this journey that none of us wanted to go through! Hugs to everyone and have a good weekend!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Hi there, that therapist doesn't know what he's talking about. 

 

My husband was in a coma in hospice for five weeks.  I was working full time and had a 6 year old so was splitting my time pretty much 24/7 between those three things.  My husband had been bedridden for weeks before hospice and the coma and the bedroom and everything in it felt like it was no longer a comfortable space (I had also been sleeping with our daughter for months at that point).  I no longer remember what prompted me to do this (insomnia, perhaps) but I just felt I needed to give his things away.   I actually did it before he died.  I got everything together and asked some friends to take it all the men's shelter.  I was so helpless at the time and felt a strong need for his things to be distributed to those in need.  I also knew I couldn't bear to come home once he died and have it all there.  

 

However, it took me a full year to clear out his basement studio - to even go in it for that matter (he was an artist).  And even then, I called the young man who got his teaching job at our district's high school and asked him to help me.   He took pretty much everything for the school or his own art practice and then called a friend and they hauled away the things no one wanted.  I definitely needed the presence and support of others to accomplish these tasks.  

 

After that I took to Facebook and gave away major items like his bicycle and power tools.  I wanted them to go to people who could use them and would appreciate the connection to Scott.  This took me even longer for some reason.  

 

I also kept a lot because I do have space and I wanted some things for my daughter who is now 12.  Thus far she's expressed little to no interest in them but I have a feeling that will change.  

 

Anyway, your grief, your timeline.  Don't let anyone tell you there is a right or wrong.  Sending support your way.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks Toosoon. As you can see from my last post, I agree with you. I am going to give his good clothes to hopefully a young professional who could use them. I can't imagine his suits from 30 years ago being any good to anybody, however, that gorgeous dress coat (100% wool, and Italian made no less), I really want that to go to someone special. I'm also thinking that his ties will help someone, I don't think they go out of style??? I'm sure it will work itself out. Read that someone will come into my sphere and I will know they are the one that needs them. I did clean up my office yesterday and made all new file folders. I had files from 2012 through the present and now I have 2019 in their own folders, so at least I cleaned up something!

 

As to the therapist, I have to agree with all of you...he doesn't know what he is talking about. I don't think he really understands grieving. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Don't get rid of a thing until YOU want to! The world keeps spinning no matter what we do with the stuff left behind.  I am finally, after nearly 2 years, able to move his things into another closet. I have ex-friends furious with me for not giving everything to his ex-wife, since they were together longer, family telling me it was time to pack things up months ago...in grief you do ONLY what brings you peace. Someone said "your grief, your rules," and no truer words, friend. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the affirmation of my decision, I have decided to keep the cotton shirts to make the quilt top, and then all the flannel and fleece shirts I am going to sew together to make the backer. I think that will keep me comfy come the winter time. I also think the process of making the quilt will bring back beautiful memories. Mark liked to help me pick out fabrics and since he had a great sense of color, it was a big help. I'll post a picture of it when it is done. Might be this year, but I may not be able to do it until next year. We'll see how it goes.

 

It's been almost three months for me since I lost Mark, however, I am trying to remember the good memories, the fun vacations, times when he didn't hurt so much. I still cry a lot, but from reading this forum I know this to be normal. I don't know how I could be where I am now without all of the support I have received from all of you.

 

Thanks and Hugs to everyone! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

laurie27, we've all been where you are now and it hurts like the devil. Do what is most comfortable for you. I remember early on so many people told me what to do and how to grieve. I had a pat response. My husband's things were a part of my inheritance per his will. Yeah, they looked at me like I was nuts but it got them off my back. Mission accomplished.

Share this post


Link to post

Ignore this "therapist" completely!!!! With his views he shouldn't be in this profession! I have kept everything as it was on the day he was taken to hospital and not planning to change anything! For the first few months I would sleep with/ wear Ken's tops and even though I don't do it anymore, I cannot imagine getting rid of anything. Do what is right for you and as soon as someone tells you what to do/ what not to do/ how to and not to grieve, simply turn around and leave. They have no right to impose their twisted ideas on you as this is the last thing you need. x

Share this post


Link to post

@soloact and @Bubu27. I thank you for commenting to my post. I did get rid of his jeans and some t-shirts, however, I stood my ground on the shirts I want to use for the memory quilt, and I am so glad I did. The way all of the members of this site supported my decision made it so much easier. Because you are so right @soloact, that first week, when I was still in shock, my sister got rid of all his underwear and socks and shorts, just cleaned out his dresser drawers and his jewelry box. I am still so mad about it, I had a hard time talking to her for a while. But done is done, at least she didn't get rid of anything important, but she really shouldn't have touched any of that stuff, it was mine to do in my own time.

 

Hugs to everyone here, we all need them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I'm 6 yrs out and slowly got rid of his stuff...but I kept his dress shirts and ties. Mostly because he had good taste. My sons ( now 21 and 23 ) don't need to get dressed up often, but when they do, I just let them shop n their dad's closet. Actually it happened just this week when my son had to look for a job.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, klim said:

I'm 6 yrs out and slowly got rid of his stuff...but I kept his dress shirts and ties. Mostly because he had good taste. My sons ( now 21 and 23 ) don't need to get dressed up often, but when they do, I just let them shop n their dad's closet. Actually it happened just this week when my son had to look for a job.

I actually make memory quilts ;) , I took my dh's button up car and Hawaiian shirts that he loved and made my quilt out of those. I really need to post a pic of it cause it came out so pretty...

I say for anyone keep whatever makes you feel ok with what your going through. DON'T LET ANYONE tell you what to let go of unless it is the courts or the law!

Blessings to all of you...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.