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Thread: Not sure what to do - Husband passed away

  1. #21
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    OP, when is your move out date? You will have to toss out most of your husband’s stuff, but if you cannot bring yourself to do that, it MIGHt be money well spent to pack up the stuff hardest to jettison and put all of that into a storage unit for a while. Once it is out of sight and mind, you will probably be able to see how useless it is. I think you are under a tight time deadline.(?)

    Please be aware that everyone here has a tale of excess “stuff” belonging to other people, so while you are mired in a place of sadness with lack of clarity about his “stuff” right now, your situation is not unique. Feel what you feel, but feelings are not facts. If you feel you are dishonoring him by tossing his life’s achievements, you are not. Those achievements were important TO HIM, they are not your achievements. You have told us they are not what YOU value.

    You are a separate person from him. So figure out which of his belongings will bring you solace, comfort, and even joy. What are the few things you can keep that remind you of his goodness? Keep those, dont burdon yourself with the rest.

    You have written here of the long years of burdons he placed on you. I cannot for the life of me figure out why you are choosing to allow “him” (really, your own ideas) to continue the burdon. Here is your opportunity to be free. Take it.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 2-10-19 at 4:09pm.

  2. #22
    Senior Member corkym's Avatar
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    I guess there is more to this story that happened that probably shouldn't be told on this thread, but not sure how to explain why I asked the original question. Yes, he was a burden for many years and unfortunately I couldn't see the forest for the trees until this last year when he became extremely ill. Then things started to come to light. He was always very irresponsible and I was always picking up the pieces through our whole marriage. I worked so much to keep us afloat I never stopped to see the cause of the way he acted. Everyone loved him, he was extremely kind and funny. And very well spoken. But, he just couldn't be responsible. This last year he ate a rotisserie chicken from a buy in bulk store and got food poisoning. It compromised his immune system. He had a kidney transplant. This last year was hell. He suffered in ways you can't imagine and deteriorated before our eyes. Not once did he complain though. Then it seemed he was getting better and we breathed a sigh of relief. And then just like that we got a call from the hospital saying that they were trying to resuscitate him. My son and I rushed to the hospital only to find him laying completely covered under a sheet. The shock was overwhelming. He was seeing 11 specialists this last year all of who did not know what to do and couldn't agree on anything. He was taking 46 pills a day if you can imagine the side effects from each one. And again, he still not once complained. After he died I started going through years of binders and binders of notes he had taken. He was a compulsive note taker. And games he had invented. And lyrics for songs he had written. But what was interesting is a lot of his words were so jumbled you couldn't make sense of them. My son and I started piecing things together and realized his actions and behavior were almost identical to his brother's and his mom's. We believe he had some undiagnosed genetic ADD or borderline aspergers or something along those lines. Plus taking 46 pills a day. He has impacted so many people that I was unaware of. I have had all kinds of people reaching out to me saying different things he had done for them. I was the one who did all the work through the years and grew bitter and didn't stop to try to figure out what was going on with him. And then I started going through old Bibles and books of his. One day I was feeling especially guilty and I picked up one of his old Bibles and I was crying. The Bible was highlighted with notes all over it and the pages were falling out he had used it so much. As I was crying a little piece of paper fell out onto the ground. And it was dated Jan 1999. And it was thanking me for all I had done for him. I have been finding all kinds of little things like that around the house. He would take these little matchboxes and put an encouraging Bible verse in them and hide it so I would find them. And I have been. I found an old goal sheet of his and his #1 goal was to "make it easier for Bunny" (his nickname for me) And wow, I am sooooo very sorry this is so long but that is the background of why I am having a hard time deciding on what to let go and what to keep. But I agree with all of you. It is time to let go. And yes, there is a lot of freedom it letting go not only of the material things but of all the guilt......Thank you Everyone, you have all been so kind to me and have given me much of your wisdom.
    Not sure why my responses aren't posting directly under each of your posts. I must be doing something wrong. I keep clicking on Post Quick Reply

  3. #23
    Senior Member corkym's Avatar
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    happystuff - I think that would be the hardest thing to go through in life - to lose a child. That is something I would never get over. I am so sorry. I think that is what I will be doing is get one box and put things in it I am not sure about and will hold on to it until I can let it go. One box won't take up much room. I have already donated and thrown out all kinds of things, so one small box shouldn't matter.

  4. #24
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Your husband sounds like a very intetesting guy.

  5. #25
    Senior Member corkym's Avatar
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    Very complex.....hahaha Me on the other hand very slow thinking and a plodder like a turtle It takes me a while to catch on to things....sigh

  6. #26
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I am so sorry for your loss. It is hard not to feel resentful when it's your job 24/7 to be the responsible one, but it sounds like you fully appreciated his good qualities. And he was thankful for all the things you brought to the marriage.

    I would echo what everyone else said--take as much time as you need. Don't force anything.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #27
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    Relationships are complicated and a death brings up so many feelings. I think we expect too much of ourselves and then feel guilty when we can’t be superwoman. Be kind to yourself.

  8. #28
    Senior Member beckyliz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    I'm so sorry, corkym.

    Your husband's lifetime of achievements is not being thrown out as you dispose of items. Your marriage, the children you raised, the success you have had in life so far -- none of those are erased by giving away or tossing items which have no use for you. They are just symbols of the life he led. Giving his old trophies so some new ball players can participate in sports and win a trophy does not diminish your DH's prowess. Along those same lines, if some sort of natural disaster occcurred even while both of you were alive and you had mere minutes to get out of the house, not saving that printed diploma does not take away DH's education or intelligence. We here have largely internalized that "we are not our stuff". Your husband is not, either. He lives on in memory regardless of what physical notations exist. Keep what you'd like and do not feel bad about disposing of the rest responsibly.
    Well said, Steve.
    "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart is also." Jesus

  9. #29
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I was reading an article on grief and guilt and one sentence really resonated with me - Feeling guilty is not the same as being guilty. I let that sink in. So simple and so true. Feelings are neither right nor wrong, true or false. I have felt guilt but if I went back in time there is very little I would change. I yearn for a different scenario but I did the best that I could with the hand I was dealt and the level of understanding I had in the moment.

  10. #30
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    First off, I am sorry for your loss.

    I also want to highlight what Steve said, he said it so well.

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