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Irrational bereavement concern

(17 Posts)
Luckygirl Sat 21-Mar-20 11:07:36

When my OH died a few weeks ago he was wearing a pyjama bottom and a long-sleeved vest. When the funeral director asked what we would like him to be clothed in for the burial, I said it was fine for him to be in those items.

But my 3 DDs very much wanted him to be in something special, and they took in to the funeral directors the clothes he wore to the wedding of one of my DDs. I went with the flow, feeling that, if it helped them, I should go along with it.

I now find it very hard to deal with - my mind obsesses with those lovely clothes - some of which I bought him specially - rotting away in the ground.

I know how silly and unimportant it is but it will not go away. I have not visited the grave because of this.

MawB Sat 21-Mar-20 11:18:09

I understand your feelings Luckygirl those images spring to mind at all the wrong moments. If you can, try not to “go there” - I remember being desperately upset when it snowed not long after the funeral and my half- thinking brain was worried he would be cold. As I said, try not to go there
I actually feel better about the fact that I took over R’s best suit, the one he had worn at the most recent DD’s wedding, a good shirt, his University tie, his glasses, a prayer book, socks - and his slippers!
I have been able to clear out much of his stuff but those items would have upset me.
Silly, I know but we are all different and there are no rights or wrongs. flowers

Eglantine21 Sat 21-Mar-20 11:42:53

I think all of us have done something similar. I still, many ,many years later wish that I had shaved my husband before the undertakers took his body away. He was a man who shaved twice a day.

When I went to see him before the burial he had such an awful five o clock shadow. I thought they would see to that.

As Mawbroon says, try not to go there.

sodapop Sat 21-Mar-20 12:21:07

That's sad Luckygirl I think you are focusing on this to stop any further hurt. Let it go when you are ready, grief takes strange forms sometimes.
Keep safe thanks

Daddima Sat 21-Mar-20 12:28:31

I took the Bodach’s everyday clothes, as he wasn’t really one for dressing up. And, quite like you Maw, after the rain, his grave had collapsed by about two feet, and I was quite distressed that it would affect him.

annsixty Sat 21-Mar-20 12:41:00

My H had lived in sweatpants and sweatshirts for about 2 years and then pyjamas or horrible green gowns for the last five weeks of his life.
I sent his best navy suit, a double cuff pale blue shirt and a dark blue silk tie to the undertaker, no shoes as they are not allowed for cremation, he had good undies and socks, no more incontinence wear.
I felt he deserved to look as smart as he could.
One neighbour said it was a shame as they could have been fine for someone else.
I sent so much nearly new stuff to a charity called Wellspring which is for the homeless I felt I had done my bit, never had any regrets.

SueDonim Sat 21-Mar-20 13:09:12

Grief and rationality don’t go together at all, I reckon. I was with my dad when he died and he didn’t have his teeth in. I’d never seen him without them and he looked so different. Afterwards, I was so concerned about whether he’d had them in when he was cremated. Eventually I asked my mum and she said yes, he had. I was so relieved about that, yet there is absolutely no rational reason for why it made any difference at all.

You’re still in such early days with your new situation, Luckygirl. There’s no road map for these things and however you feel is valid. flowers

BlueSapphire Sat 21-Mar-20 16:21:56

I was going to put DH in his white dinner jacket etc, but then DS said "what was he most comfortable in, mum?".
So he wore shorts and a polo shirt and bare feet.

Oopsadaisy3 Sat 21-Mar-20 16:27:24

I still get upset that we didn’t take any clothes at all for my Dad when he died, the police came and collected us to take us to the Funeral Directors and we totally forgot and didn’t remember until after the funeral.
When Mum died I took her favourite outfit in for her to wear complete with underwear, tights and shoes, which now seems a bit daft.

jacq10 Sat 21-Mar-20 16:43:39

This is such a sad post to read. You will have a lot of "what if" or "should I" moments. You did what was right at the time and the DDs would have been pleased to contribute. I chose my DH's golfing clothes as that they were practically a uniform for him. It took me some time before I was able to focus on things properly and then donated the clothes I knew would sell to a local charity organisation and took his "scuddling" clothes to local church where lunches are provided for the homeless and needy who also give out clothes as they were in pretty reasonable condition. They told me to include socks, gloves and underwear as everything is much appreciated.

Luckygirl Sat 21-Mar-20 16:55:32

I know it is crazy to focus on this one thing, when the big thing is that he is gone and is not coming back. It flashes into my mind in the middle of the night - makes no sense at all. I find it most distressing.

annsixty Sat 21-Mar-20 17:31:12

One of our friends was buried in his white dinner jacket and his signature red bow tie.
His wife particularly liked to see him in those.

Calendargirl Sat 21-Mar-20 18:09:19

When my mum died, 15 years ago, she just wore a funeral shroud as I honestly think that is what she would have expected to be cremated in. It looked like a nightie.
I don’t want to upset anyone, but I don’t see much point in wearing best clothes, underwear, tights, ties, etc when it’s either burial or cremation. But that is my personal view, and if it gives comfort to the bereaved to do otherwise, that is totally their prerogative.

SueDonim Sat 21-Mar-20 18:14:47

I think it does actually make sense in a way, Luckygirl. To have such loss is a massive, massive thing for anyone to endure. Focusing on a small thing maybe helps you to come to terms with the entire experience, bit by bit. That’s my take on it, anyway. flowers

Daddima Sat 21-Mar-20 18:15:33

Calendargirl it’s around 30 years since my parents died, and they were both buried in a ‘burial dress’, no question of them wearing clothes.
Mind you, I remember meeting a friend of my mother’s in Marks and Spencer buying a new white shirt for her husband to be cremated in.

aggie Sat 21-Mar-20 18:35:17

The undertaker asked for underwear for OH . He was buried in a suit but he had lost so much weight that it didn’t look great . Still can see him so still , I cry at the memory

V3ra Sat 21-Mar-20 18:37:08

When my Mum was getting more frail with Alzheimer's she really felt the cold.
I had a set of five pairs of knee length socks that are cosy without being too thick and bulky, so I bought her a set of five as well.
Her carer said they were just the job, really liked them and dressed Mum in a pair every day.

Mum died at home and was taken to the funeral parlour.
Afterwards I sorted some of her clothes drawers and brought those socks home with me.
Some time later I noticed there were only nine pairs and wondered why.
Then I realised Mum would have been wearing the missing pair when her body was taken from the house.
I felt a connection and found this quite comforting.

Strange how little things affect us.