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Emotionally wrecked

(98 Posts)
Luckygirl Thu 23-Jul-20 15:49:25

I have just spent a couple of days going through all my late OH's clothes, as I am hoping to move house soon and it just needs to be done - I can't keep stuff to cart from one house to another. I cannot tell you how wrecked I feel by it; but I have had to be strong and determined. Such memories - and the smell of him is there.

I have left quite a few garments as the girls are coming at the weekend and there are things they might wish to keep. I know the sort of things they might want, so I have kept them by.

There are wonderful suits and a whole dress suit ensemble with dress shirt, jacket, trousers, bow tie and waistcoat. Luckily I have found a charity shop which is open and receiving goods. I will ask the girls to ship them over for me. My OH was very thin indeed and there is no-one in the family who could wear any of this stuff.

I have kept one or two things of sentimental value to me.

I am sure others have been through this process and will understand what it has done to me today.

EilaRose Fri 24-Jul-20 05:35:18

When it came time for me to go through his clothes/shoes/etc, I kept a couple of shirts that I thought I may wear, but never did and the rest were to go to a charity store. However, I didn't want to meet anyone walking down the street in his clothes, so I drove to another town which had a large charity store and they were thrilled to take them.

One of the ladies there told me that it's quite common for people to take clothes to another town, for the same reasons I did, so at least that made me feel better.

They were so thankful for the donation that they told us to take whatever we needed from the store, but as it was a very emotional day, I just wanted to leave asap. The offer was appreciated though and that wasn't the reason behind the donation.

All the best to those who have been through this too, because until you have, there is no real understanding how difficult it can be. It's so final!

Froglady Sat 25-Jul-20 09:13:51

When my grandfather died my grandmother passed on all his suits to my Mum with the idea that mum might be able to sell them. This is over 50 years ago and I can still the suits laid out on the bed in the spare bedroom! It really affected mum and she hated having these suits in her house. Don't remember what happened in the end to the suits. I just recall the awful effect on mum.

thinkfree Sat 25-Jul-20 09:23:39

I had to do this for my son (died age 22) and then my dad 10 months later (age 95) . I am still traumatised. It is the most difficult thing,to effectively discard someone's life. I love them both and miss them both everyday.

Marmight Sat 25-Jul-20 09:33:47

Well done Lucky. Its a difficult task but has to be done ?.
I did it gradually, when the moment/s felt right. One SiL had a number of sailing jackets and shirts. I’m occasionally surprised when I see him wearing them & do a double take but DH would approve. All 3 SiLs chose a tie which they wore to the funeral & the 3 girls all chose something to keep. The rest eventually went to Charity shops but I have hung on to a couple of suits and special shirts & a pair of shoes as I can see the shape of his foot. Not sure why ?. I wish I’d kept a some sweaters & made them into cushion covers. As time goes by it becomes a little easier to let go

bigbird1 Sat 25-Jul-20 09:34:36

When my husband died, my stepdaughter took several shirts etc and had them made into teddy bears, a nice memory .

Dee1012 Sat 25-Jul-20 09:39:31

I think this is one of the saddest tasks we must do for those we love.
I was very close to my Stepmother and after the death of my Father remained so, after her death, I had to 'sort things out.
I can remember taking a deep breath before walking into her bedroom and opening the wardrobe was so final?!
I was managing quite well until the last door when I saw that she'd kept some of my Father's thing's and under her pillow was his pyjama jacket.
My thoughts are with anyone going through this.

georgia101 Sat 25-Jul-20 09:42:13

That is a terribly emotional job that had to be done and I feel for you. Well done on getting it done. Now be gentle with yourself for a few days to get over the physical and emotional effects of it all. Sending love to you.

Jillybird Sat 25-Jul-20 09:42:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bazza Sat 25-Jul-20 09:44:39

When my friend’s lovely husband died she had his shirts (of which he had many) made into a beautiful small quilt. It was a work or art, she used the cuffs and pockets so you can see they were shirts, not just scraps. She treasures it.

Aepgirl Sat 25-Jul-20 09:45:47

It is very emotional disposing of a loved one’s clothing. I remember helping my mum clear my father’s wardrobe. Mostly we were fine until we came across his box of bow ties, and then his wellies in the shed. We couldn’t bring ourselves to get rid of them, and I still have his bow ties.

Luckygirl Sat 25-Jul-20 09:47:59

I am just starting in on the CDs - moving house so lots will have to go. I am keeping those that are not available to stream on Spotify.

He had a very wide taste in music and every CD reminds me of the things he enjoyed.

Coconut Sat 25-Jul-20 09:59:32

My friends husband has just had to go through this, as my friend was brutally killed in a hit and run in March. Her sisters and her daughter have only now been able to think about her clothes etc and have shared them all out between them, with nieces etc so that everyone has little keepsakes etc
Meanwhile my friends husband is facing the devastation of empty wardrobes and drawers, and the finality of it all is sinking in. It’s all just so heartbreaking .....

Luckygirl Sat 25-Jul-20 10:18:08

Heart-breaking indeed. And I cannot listen to any music from around the time we were first together - it just reduces me to a weeping heap.

Serendipity22 Sat 25-Jul-20 10:18:55

Without a doubt, I understand. When my mum went 'home' I obviously had to clear her clothes and belongings, couldnt keep them forever and a day, like you, I kept things that really meant something to me.

Just the process of folding them all up and putting them in bags to 'get rid of' left me feeling absolutely wretched, despite the fact I knew it had to be done.

There is still 1 thing that I can not bare to throw away,nor look inside it, it's her handbag, I have it here in the house and every time my eyes cast upon it I shudder and quickly go about my business, it's a horrid experience, I would say to keep sentimental items and be brave by putting the rest in bags and maybe give to a charity shop so others can benefit opposed to just throwing them away.

Cid24 Sat 25-Jul-20 10:20:12

My friend made cushion covers out of her mums clothes. And a particularly beautiful cashmere jumper. Think that’s a nice idea.
I’ve been through it too , heartbreaking xx

SusieB50 Sat 25-Jul-20 10:22:45

Yes such a hard thing to do . My DH too died just over 6 months ago and I still have most of his clothes still in his wardrobe . Mainly because charity shops have been closed and still not talking things . His jackets and thick jumpers went in February to a local appeal for the homeless but everything else remains . I have worn a couple of his shirts to garden( very comforting) but I must think about getting down to clearing and find a charity that will collect as I don’t drive.

Chardy Sat 25-Jul-20 10:26:43

Proud of you Luckygirl

Nan0 Sat 25-Jul-20 10:30:03

My husband kept his fathers suits and wore them now sons and nephews borrow wear them for retro events and to be smart for weddingss etc its a great way for grand kids to remember their grandfather..

Roweenaa Sat 25-Jul-20 10:32:51

We made cushion covers out of favourite jumpers and even a cardigan with buttons still on. They smell comforting and are lovely to hug on to. Best thing we did and made it easier to let go of other pieces.

polnan Sat 25-Jul-20 10:52:41

oh gosh, been isolated, as so many of us here, just beginning to meet up with friends,
my dearest friend just came to see me with her new grandson, it was lovely sitting and talking and drinking coffee together.

now as she left the tears are flowing, we couldn`t hug...

and now came and read these.. my dh died last November, I had managed to dispose of his used clothes,, like socks and most underwear,, can`t do anything else,

cleaned my bedroom (was ours) yesterday so checking some of the drawers came across some of his clothes, (stuff in the wardrobe is sort of out of sight) and just couldn`t, had to stuff them hurriedly back in the drawers...

been crying a lot whilst in isolation, (I don`t think that has helped the grieving) now, as I said reading these posts, well just tears and tears,, I can`t dispose of his things,, don`t want to, think I haven`t let him go,, I am so lonely...

surely this is good to cry? some say cry, I hate it... thanks everyone for this sharing,, I don`t want to dispose of all of his things.

Annie29 Sat 25-Jul-20 10:58:28

My Mum kept Dads dressing gown hanging on the back of the bedroom door.
It must have been so hard to do I'm sure the charity shops will be pleased to receive them
Take care.

Pollyj Sat 25-Jul-20 11:08:03

Yes. Just emptied mum’s 4 bedroom house and had to do the same with hers and my dad’s belongings, immersed in their scent and the memories - some funny, some searing, some guilt evoking. All poignant.

mum left me notes. In pockets, in jewellery boxes and drawers. In her handwriting, things like: ‘No silliness! Get rid of everything without guilt. Keep and enjoy what you want. I’ve had a wonderful life and you’ve been a wonderful daughter.‘ they helped, but still, it all wrings you out like a sponge and leaves you shipwrecked for a long time. X

Lindylou57 Sat 25-Jul-20 11:09:00

Hi Luckygirl, Check online, there is a website that takes loved ones favourite shirts and jumpers and turns them into cushions or pillows. That might be something you could do with a particular item for yourself and perhaps one each for your girls. Or if you are up to it and are crafty maybe you could do it yourself at some point. Save a few favourite bits and when you feel up to it get sewing. I think its a lovely idea and I wish I had done it when my Mum passed. Hope this helps.

GoldenAge Sat 25-Jul-20 11:10:35

As a bereavement counsellor I know that going through a loved one’s clothes and other belongings requires great courage and resilience and it will take its emotional toll for some time but it’s a step in the right direction for you and there’s also the value you have given to some other individual in the world by donating your OH’s clothes. Well done to you for finding the strength to do this.

Lindylou57 Sat 25-Jul-20 11:11:40

Luckygirl - just checked Etsy do it with your own fabric and there are loads of tutorials on how to do it yourself.