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maddalena

progress purging

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It has been almost 3 years since I lost my DH. in the first two years I got rid of some of his stuff, gave some away, you know the drill.

But there were things I couldn't get rid of yet.

In a week I am having a male visitor and I figured this would be a good time to go through stuff again.  I found a bunch of his bike clothes and found a home for them, I was able to clean out his sock drawer, in fact, I emptied a dresser.

But then I came to his old bike shoes. The ones he absolutely wore out.  I decided it was time for them to go. But  I picked them up and had to hug them. he wore them so long, and so hard, and enjoyed his life to the fullest while those shoes were on his feet. THAT was tough..

 

how are you guys doing?

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I'm thinking there will be a few things like those bike shoes lurking in the drawers around here and not looking forward to it. Congratulations on tackling these difficult and painful purges.

Not much progress here, I've heard not to make rash decisions the 1st year so I'm honoring that as an excuse to do nearly nothing.

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I'm 18 months out and the grand total of what I have given away is:

 

One filter coffee machine ... I don't drink coffee so decided it should be rehomed to my stepfather

One chainsaw ... scared the whatsits out of me so gave it to BiL (OH's sisters husband)

Some specialist tools ... same home as the chainsaw

Six ring gas hob ... went to my Aunt

 

And that's it. Just as well my house is big enough to not need to go through things.

I'm now ready to allow people to go through his fleeces to see if they want them for golfing fleeces, etc. The suitable T-shirts I'm keeping for me. The shirts are being kept to be made into a blanket for me. Undies and socks are being used for stuffing draught excluders. The rest will either be charity (if good enough) or bin. Of course, I haven't actually carried through with any of this yet.

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I'm 15 months out.

 

What I've accomplished so far:

 

Sorted through his half of the closet.

Kept t-shirts for quilts for our 3 daughters.  They're being made now.

Donated a lot of his clothes.

Went through his drawers in our bathroom.

Kept a few sweaters,  sweatshirts, caps, and jerseys.

Went through his tool box. Discovered childhood keepsakes in the bottom.

Went through his shoes.

 

I still need to:

 

Organize the garage.

Organize the shed.

Sort through his man cave.

Organize our photos.

Save messages and photos from his cellphone.

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I was forced to move less than 2 months after he died.  Chad really was not a very material person and just didn't have a lot of "stuff".  I packed up a box of his stuff from high school and all the years before he met me, sort of with the intention to send to my MIL but have yet to do it.  I have a 16 year old son so all the tools and yard stuff went to him.  I kept all of his tee shirts, my daughter and I love to wear them.  Then about 3 1/2 months after he died his boxes of his belongings came back from Saudi Arabia.  I had salt from Saudi for almost a year lol ... not to mention the 25 lb. bag of sugar. His clothes that were in those boxes are in a box in the shed.  I gave his CPAP machine to my brother who needed one desperately. That was hard, because that was a contributing factor to Chad's death. I'm a very firm believer in treatment for OSA and my brother would have never been able to afford one.  Other than that ... all photos and stuff remain the same.  My son has his cell phone. I had to get a new one so I lost all our texts :(  Lost all of our Skype messages too, which hurt.  I'm seeing that even though this month makes 18 months I'm nowhere near ready to let go.

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My DW told me I wasn't allowed to hang onto her clothes, so they have been taken care of (Family, friends, consignment, quilt, donated, trashed). I knew she had a lot of clothes, but holy shit, she had a lot of clothes, then I found the other half of them..lol.

 

I'm getting ready to sell the house this month and move into my parents house (they are going to rent something in the city). Because of this I am planning on getting rid of most of our stuff (furniture, etc.) . The basement was emotionally easy since we haven't really made any memories with 90% of that stuff in years.

 

I'm now going through the more sensitive areas, and I worry about throwing out something I will regret, or will miss. So my efforts are slowed way down due to it being such a meticulious job and emotionally draining.

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wow, we each have our own road here.

I loved the story about the Saudi Arabian salt :D

 

I pick up things that are precious and i say to myself, if was gone, would anyone care about this thing? would they even know what the significance was? that helps me decide..

I could just see my sons looking at their dad's old bike shoes...

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Oh gosh, I gave a suitcase full of his clothes he had here to his family, because they can use them. I have a box with his drums and other stuff that I will send back home. I have yet to face an attic and cellar full of our combined stuff when I get back home t sort through. I will cross that bridge when I get there. But I plan to pack his stuff in a big box to keep for our son. I don't care if I have to move it a hundred times until he is big enough to make use of it. It is his right. And I can go and look at them, if I want to. I have carried my own stuff around with me from place to place, so I don't really care if there is a nother couple of boxed added to it....no, I won't purge. I am a gatherer.

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I'm over two years out at this point, and I'm still having a real problem with getting rid of things that meant something to him.  Recently (in prep for move #3 since I lost him), I was able to part with a few things - his school reading material that just had highlighter marks, some of our old bedding, his jeans and old work polos - but anything even remotely sentimental is still at my parents' house, stashed in their basement.  Hell, I even still have every piece of paper with his handwriting on it that I could find - doodles, signed receipts, school notebooks....

 

I'm not so good at the purging either.  The man loved his things and was so proud of his various collections - all the CDs, all the records, all the movies, all the books.  I'm still at the point where I think it would feel like I was throwing a piece of him away if I was to part with any of those. 

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I'm not so good at the purging either.  The man loved his things and was so proud of his various collections - all the CDs, all the records, all the movies, all the books.  I'm still at the point where I think it would feel like I was throwing a piece of him away if I was to part with any of those. 

 

Personally I'd keep that stuff forever.

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I'm not so good at the purging either.  The man loved his things and was so proud of his various collections - all the CDs, all the records, all the movies, all the books.  I'm still at the point where I think it would feel like I was throwing a piece of him away if I was to part with any of those. 

 

Personally I'd keep that stuff forever.

 

I likely will, although it's causing a little clutter that's making my New Guy a little crazy.  I live in a big city, and apartments tend to be small and expensive.  Hopefully sometime in the future we'll be able to afford a house of our own so we'll have the space we need.  I just wonder what will happen to it all when I'm gone.  I thought we'd have a child to pass all his wonderful collections to. 

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For anyone who remembers my endless posts on the YWBB about purging...his stuff, my stuff, our stuff.....well this was an issue for me but slowly I have let almost everything go...I still have his box of mementos and have not gone through it since just after he died,  I will do it this year.  Almost all clothes are gone, all shoes are gone, paperwork that did not need to be saved....I had been hauling his textbooks around, two VERY heavy boxes move to move, I just could not see throwing them out and yet didn't have the wherewithal to donate them...one day the day before garbage day I threw them out!  Poof!  Like that!  Felt guilty for a minute for throwing books out but they were causing me anxiety.  I have not thought about them until writing this post.

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On 5/4/2015 at 10:49 PM, maddalena said:

It has been almost 3 years since I lost my DH. in the first two years I got rid of some of his stuff, gave some away, you know the drill.

But there were things I couldn't get rid of yet.

In a week I am having a male visitor and I figured this would be a good time to go through stuff again.  I found a bunch of his bike clothes and found a home for them, I was able to clean out his sock drawer, in fact, I emptied a dresser.

But then I came to his old bike shoes. The ones he absolutely wore out.  I decided it was time for them to go. But  I picked them up and had to hug them. he wore them so long, and so hard, and enjoyed his life to the fullest while those shoes were on his feet. THAT was tough..

 

how are you guys doing?

 

I'm now over 5 years since my wife died.  I am in the early stages of a new relationship and it is very likely that she will be spending some time at my house over the summer.  While I have removed or at least moved a lot of stuff there is still so much more to deal with.  While taking a break I searched for threads about purging and this on seems to fit me best right now.  I already got rid of the medical records, scans of her lungs etc will do no one any good now or in the future and I don't see myself moving anytime soon.  Our house has been significantly remodeled since my wife died and it really is more my house now than it is "ours" anymore but there is still the "stuff" that needs purging.

 

 Today I tackled the chests in my bedroom, they so far had been a drop off point of stuff I did't know what to do with yet.  I got them consolidated down to stuff about her and "us" that I just can't throw away. Stuff for the kids was pulled out and set aside and then there was the stuff that I am at peace with throwing away.  The consolidated stuff will most likely get set deep in a corner of the basement and someday...well that's just it I'm not sure what about someday.  There are things in there that the kids may not want to see and some stuff that just won't make sense to anyone but me now.  Right now I plan to leave instructions to take the chest and put it in the crematorium with me when the time comes.

 

I did pretty good clearing through today and had only one good cry over an article of clothing.  Still so much more to do, seems as our grief is, the purging never really ends but gets less and less over time. 

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I'm glad that this purge topic was revisited, this one suits me well too right now.  Coming up on five years and it's time to sort through a lot of furnishings,  odds and ends and more of his personal items that have been in storage for awhile now.  It will be a big project but I feel ready to move forward and get on with it.  I had a good cry when I parted with DH's well worn leather slippers, they were molded in the form of his feet.  I'm happy that my daughter has saved and likes wearing some of his t-shirts, and my son enjoys wearing some of his sweaters.  Sigh ..... another step forward in this journey.  It's difficult but feels good to be moving on with this.

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It's a little over four years for me and I've done a certain amount of pruning, but not as much as I wish; there's still a lot left to do. Sometimes I wish I could just wave a magic wand and it would be done ... It's been easier when there's been a good friend to help, if only to lend moral support and/or to give an opinion about whether something would have value for someone else. I feel better, lighter, when I've succeeded in clearing out a bit (and of course things look neater!), but working up the energy and the emotional readiness to tackle the job is something else ... The idea of a chest that goes to the crematorium with me is something I hadn't thought of, but it has appeal. Thanks, rifatheroffour, for mentioning it.

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Spend a good portion of Mother's Day sorting and purging with Netflix on in the background. One more bin of recycling full. 4 bins ready to be taken to good will, and a trash can filled. Knowing that I am going to move this Fall from a 5 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment has made the process of sorting what to keep and what to lose much more imperative. Which also makes things simpler. All of her and my yearbooks. Gone. All of our family photos. Kept. Extra lampshades and picture frames she had purchased and never used. Donated. It is bittersweet to go through the accumulated stuff of a loved ones life, a lot of memories come back.

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Posted (edited)

I wrote notes for a while on FB for therapeutic value and education to others of my grief journey.  I am sure I got eye rolls but many responded to me positively.  I never committed to do a blog, and I am passed it now, 6 yrs. out.  Well, I took this quote from Navywife  here and shared it.  Hope it is meaningful .  So many folks here articulate things so well.....

 

Quote

 "Anyone who has lost someone will tell you that each time you take their name off an account, when you transfer a bill, when you donate their belongings not only is there a sadness, there is a guilt. A feeling that little by little you are erasing their footprint from this world, that you are removing each sign that they existed , that they were important. The logical side of me tells me different, but the heart often rules the mind. I know the important things, the feelings the memories, the love will always be part of me. The physical things did not make up who T was and I do realize that. Yet at the end of the day I consider the closets in my bedroom cleaned and the ties, well they still remain.

People talk about closure, about moving on. Fact of the matter is.. there is no such thing as closure. And you don't move on. You find ways to move forward. And I like to think I have done an admirable job at doing that. I have had many experiences, laughter, friendship and love since T died. But please don't think it is easy. Don't do that disservice to anyone who has experienced loss. Don't put a time frame on it. Every one mourns differently. If someone were to ask I would say I am content in life almost always. I am happy in life often. I am blessed with many wonderful supportive friends and family. My sons are simply amazing. I look forward to each day. But I do still miss T. I miss the future I thought we had. I think about son's upcoming graduation followed by what would be our 25th anniversary, and know that T should be present for these things. 

Funny what cleaning out a closet can make one think about.......today I cleaned my closet."  Grateful for Navywife to share...........<3

 

Edited by tybec
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11 hours ago, Leadfeather said:

Spend a good portion of Mother's Day sorting and purging with Netflix on in the background. One more bin of recycling full. 4 bins ready to be taken to good will, and a trash can filled. Knowing that I am going to move this Fall from a 5 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment has made the process of sorting what to keep and what to lose much more imperative. Which also makes things simpler. All of her and my yearbooks. Gone. All of our family photos. Kept. Extra lampshades and picture frames she had purchased and never used. Donated. It is bittersweet to go through the accumulated stuff of a loved ones life, a lot of memories come back.

Leadfeather...I call this dismantling a life.  I have done it twice...and survived.  I'm about to unpack what I packed up a year ago.  I wonder if I will purge again.  I purged a second time after packing up my house with my first husband.  Here I go rambling again.

 

Maureen

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Purging sucks.  I have to do it now and it isn't ending with one box. I am surrounded by him here and I love that!!!!   I come upon an item and burst into tears.  Yes, I have become a puddle.  This is completely unfair and sad.

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