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Bereavement

How long will it take ?

(23 Posts)
Morghew70 Thu 12-May-16 20:38:28

My husband died just over two months ago and today my daughter-in-law said that she would help me clear out his things. I completely freaked - I know he's not coming back, but I'm not ready to let go of any of his things yet. I know that another friend of mine had the house cleared almost before the funeral. I get that we're all different, but at what point does it become a problem?

shysal Thu 12-May-16 20:49:26

Sorry to hear of your loss flowers. It is still very early days, Morghew70, do it in your own time. You will know when it is right. We are all different, I know one lady who enjoyed clearing her mother's stuff immediately. However, I have a friend whose husband died 7 years ago and she has touched nothing. She finds comfort in seeing his shoes still in the hall. She also still visits the grave daily. Her family are cross with her, but she is harming nobody! Look after yourself.

Luckygirl Thu 12-May-16 20:52:03

Two months is a very short time and if it helps you to leave sorting his things for a while then do that - do not be pressured into anything you cannot cope with at the moment. It will all come with time.

I am sure that your DIL is trying to help, but do not worry that you are strange in some way - it is not a problem. You will be ready when you are ready; and sometimes it helps to do these things gradually and quietly on your own to start with. Small steps.

I am sorry for your loss. flowers

Judthepud2 Thu 12-May-16 21:06:16

If you don't feel ready to clear your DH's things out Morghew, then don't. I agree it is very early days yet. You probably have lots of memories connected with these things and need to hold on to them for a while yet. I agree with Lucky, do it gradually, quietly and on your own if you need to.

((Hugs))

durhamjen Thu 12-May-16 21:33:26

Sorry, Morghew.

If it's any help or consolation, I still have lots of my husband's clothes, and he died over four years ago.
Do what you want when you want.
I have emptied a few drawers, and part of the wardrobe. I give a few bits at a time to a charity, either Ageuk or the air ambulance.
It only becomes a problem if you need the space. This is the first year that I haven't needed to put the Christmas decorations in the loft because there was enough space in the wardrobe for the boxes.

I keep saying I am going to clear the garage/shed out of all the tools etc., but our sons say not to. They say they will. What they do is borrow something and keep it.

Like someone else said, we are all different. Just to show you you can take your time and it will not be a problem.

Bellasnana Thu 12-May-16 21:43:47

Morghew my sincere condolences on your sad loss. You should definitely wait until the time is right for you and don't allow anyone, however well-meaning, to push you into it.

It is coming up to the first anniversary of the death of my DH and, like you, I felt I didn't want to move any of his things. However, I have recently moved house so I had to tackle the awful task. I found it very hard and I have still kept a suitcase full of his clothes. I have even worn some of his big sweatshirts when I was feeling cold.

My cousin took ten years before she could bear to part with her husband's things. Only you will know when or if you feel ready. flowers

Ana Thu 12-May-16 21:50:16

It'll be two years in August since my DH died, and although the house is up for sale I still have a lot of his 'stuff'. However, I found disposing of his stashes of old newspapers/bank statements/magazines (some going back to the 70s!!) quite therapeutic during the early months.

You'll know when you feel ready, Morghew, everyone is different flowers

Luckygirl Thu 12-May-16 22:20:52

Everyone is different. My Dad got my sister and I to go through and organise the disposal of my mother's belongings immediately. This felt right for him - though we struggled with it, as you can imagine. It was his choice and he went on to live for another 9 years and found his own contentment. He was never a sentimental man and just wanted to tidy everything up in a very dispassionate way. That was the right thing for him.

For others it might be never to throw some of the items away. We are all so different and should not feel we have to apologise for how we feel or for decisions that are right for that individual.

When Dad died my sister and I did the same thing - we sent his clothes to charity shops straight away - we did this because we felt he would have seen it as the right thing to do, not because we wanted to. It felt right.

Newquay Thu 12-May-16 23:04:26

Deepest sympathy Morgehew💐 Such a sad time.
Don't let this "hiccup" ruin your relationship with your DIL. She probably thought she was helping. As others have said you'll know when it's the right time. . . .

rascal Thu 12-May-16 23:36:27

So sorry to hear of your loss Morghew70 . Don't part with anything you don't want to. You will know when you feel you can. Your family will just be thinking that they are trying to help you but your not ready yet. It took me a while over time until I felt ready to part with some things. It's a slow process but eventually things will settle in your mind. It's just a case of trying to come to terms with your new way of life. Best wishes, you are in my thoughts. flowers

rubylady Fri 13-May-16 02:21:09

Sending you my warmest wishes Morghew70 in your time of loss. Please just take your time, as others have said. I lost my dad 7 weeks ago and I gave 2 weeks notice on his flat. Due to me getting really ill after the funeral, I couldn't go and clear it out so my son went and got the Virgin box I thought we would have to give back and I left it at that for the residents of his sheltered housing friends to share out. Now, I wish I had given 4 weeks notice and had time to go through things a bit more thoroughly and kept some of his things. I did get his watch, not expensive but sentimental and his paperwork.

Sometimes, when you are still in the grip of shock, you may decide to give something away which you may later regret. Let things settle. Only do it when you are good and ready, with or without help, it's up to you. Grief takes a while to get through and there is no time limit, as shown above. My dad's things are put away at the moment, even his ashes, so that I can come to terms with it before I decide what to do for the best. Take care and look after yourself. smile

Morghew70 Fri 13-May-16 09:24:37

Thank you everyone for your kind, and reassuring messages. Its nice to know that even if I am going slightly dotty I'm not alone! The GCs did ask if I would turn his office into a playroom, which I hadn't thought about but might be a good idea - at some point. The DIL in question is wonderful but always likes to get things done asap. She got someone to dig a grave for her dog in September in case he died during the winter and the ground was too hard! ,

annsixty Fri 13-May-16 09:40:44

When !my friend's H died a couple of years ago I rang her after a few days to see how she was and to ask details about his funeral and she was clearing his clothes and packing them. for Charity.
She loved her H dearly, they had celebrated their Golden Wedding just months before and she had nursed him at home with the help of the Hospice at home service for 2 long and difficult years. It was her way of coping. You must do what is right for you when you are ready. flowers

NonnaW Fri 13-May-16 10:04:30

My dad died almost 5 years ago but my step mum still has all his clothes untouched. She did give us, his children and grandchildren any small keepsakes we wanted, and some of the larger things like his mobility scooter were disposed of by her son, but there is still a lot of him in the house. My sister has offered to help when she is ready but she will do it in her own time.

geeljay Fri 13-May-16 10:14:12

Do whatever you have to do, in your own time.When my wife died, I couldnt eve
n consider clearing out her things quickly. I did a little at a time. Still got blouses in 'her' robe, after 15 months. Now beginning to decorate rooms, and remove all bits n pieces, in the course of this. No one is an expert, and the feelings for the loss of a life long sweetheart, may be different to those of a parent, or child. We are each unique, but the grief is common to us all. I will get there, but a little at a time.

Kupari45 Fri 13-May-16 11:34:17

Hello Morghew, I think you should take your time before clearing through your husband's things. There's no hurry, take as long as you like. We are all different. Some of us need the solace of seeing our loved one's things around the house, it can be very comforting just burying your face into a much loved jumper.
Be kind to yourself, and just do whats right for you.
Only you know when the time is right to slowly dispose of your dear husbands possessions.
I'm thinking of you at this sad time.

Nansypansy Sat 14-May-16 07:34:25

My friend's husband died 2 years ago and at the time she was intent on moving. My advice to her was to wait a year to see how she felt. In the interim she did clear his things from their bedroom, redecorated and refurbished it so that it became 'her' bedroom, altered the lounge a bit to her taste. She's still there!!

vampirequeen Sat 14-May-16 07:41:02

Do it when you feel comfortable. My mum asked me to sort my dad's stuff out virtually straight away but my aunt still has some of her husband's stuff.

Marmight Sat 14-May-16 08:15:48

Sympathy Morghew flowers
I still have a wardrobe full of DH's suits and he died 4 years ago. I have gradually disposed of most of his other clothes although I have a couple of drawers full of his 'bits and pieces' like watches, wallet, passport etc......; I do it in fits and starts when I feel the time is right, but I am having a big problem with the suits and the wardrobe door is opened and shut regularly with nothing being removed! My 3 sons in law all chose and wore one of his ties to his funeral; the others still hang in the wardrobe and are a comforting reminder of him. Like others, I wear some of his sweaters. We are all different and no one can tell you what to do; it comes from within, so take your time and do it on a positive day.

Morghew70 Sat 14-May-16 17:02:33

The weird thing is that after I started this discussion the heating went on in my husband's room. He had been sleeping in the spare room because he had a hospital bed, oxygen, etc. and because of his illness had to have the heating on all the time. After he died I turned it off and three days ago it came on. I don't believe in ghosts, but I think he may be trying to tell me something.

GrandmaMoira Sat 14-May-16 21:18:18

I got rid of my husband's clothes soon after the funeral and wanted the hospital equipment out before that. I did however keep all his bits and pieces in his bedside cabinet for several years. It may sound silly but I've only recently realised I don't have to keep the dark varnished wood he chose in the house. I have a large mantelpiece in dark varnished wood which he loved and I'm going to paint in a soft white. I've started painting the dark doors white.

grannyqueenie Sat 14-May-16 21:40:30

As others have said it's such a personal choice when and how to clear someone's clothes and belongings. It's very early days still, so try to just go at the pace you feel comfortable with. The day may come when it feels easier to start sorting it out than it is to leave it as it is, you'll know that's the right time for you to do it flowers
When my dad died my mum wanted everything out of the house within days which I struggled with at the time. But looking back now I wonder if the urgency was as much to do with wanting my support in the doing of it all before I returned home, 400 miles away. Hindsight is a wonderful thing....sad

Luckylegs9 Sun 15-May-16 06:20:23

Do things when you feel ready, there is no rush. We are all different. It us such a loss to be on your own, that probably it is too soon to be clearing out your husbands personal things. I did it gradually, I gave his clothesto the Charity Shop, just kept two or three items back, then I was glad I had. I have still kept a couple of his favourite items, but the rest has gone to children, but mainly to Charity as he'd would have wanted. I have also changed the decoration and a lot if the furniture now, but it took me years. Your daughter in law sound kind, she will still be there when you feel ready. Just be kind to yourself.