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Thread: Not sure what to do - Husband passed away

  1. #11
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    I agree with everyone’s advice. We are not our stuff. I am so sorry for you.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    I am so sorry for your loss. Everyone has given good advice. Sending you a big hug. (((((((((((((((((corkym))))))))))))))))))))

  3. #13
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    I am so sorry for your loss and can only imagine your emotions through being with my sister. My oldest sister lost her husband tragically 11y ago today.....

    She didn't want to make decisions alone. I flew to her every 5w for 7 months and then quarterly for another year. Each visit she had amassed a segment of their home she wanted help with.

    Is there someone who can be with you who will offer your support and NOT tell you what to do?

    One box was labeled "keep forever". In this went items that she was emotionally attached to. She would tell you that you do not need to keep what was valued by him and not you. You have the memories or perhaps you didn't even care about some of those items. It's all OK.

    She tells me that what helped her the most is when I said "there are no do-overs". If you're not sure, keep it awhile longer. Look at it next time. Don't rush yourself. Clearing out a lifetime in 6 months is not mandatory.

    Be kind to yourself. Take care of yourself.

  4. #14
    Senior Member corkym's Avatar
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    Thank you Teacher Terry. Yes, that is so very true, we are not our stuff. The more I get rid of, the more I realize this statement.

  5. #15
    Senior Member corkym's Avatar
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    Thank you so much Gardner. I like the idea of keeping one box "forever" and also not having to keep things that were valued by him and not me. His bottle of "Carmel air" was the first thing I threw out....lol. Not sure why those kind of things such as the Bugs Bunny Pez container, Gumby and bags of broken pens and pencils, etc. irritated me but they did. I have taken at least 4 van loads of things to the thrift store and filled 2 large city curb
    side trash cans. And each time I do I feel so much lighter. Interestingly enough, 2 of our 4 cats died within a few months of when he died. They were both 18 and we had them for about 15 years so that was hard also, but in a way it felt much freer also. I was doing so much caregiving for my husband and 2 old cats (they were having old age ailments) plus working full time it started to all come crashing down. And then unexpectedly they were all gone. I have never cried so many tears in my life or felt such emptiness, but at the same time I feel so much lighter. Hard to describe.

  6. #16
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    My condolences on your loss. Everyone has given some great advice and suggestions. This statement in your opening post struck me: "But it was a big part of his life."

    It was a big part of HIS life! That doesn't mean it has to be a big part of YOUR life. Acknowledge is accomplishments as just that... HIS accomplishments, there for you to appreciate, remember, etc - not necessarily to keep the physical reminders.

    My son past many years ago and I still have two square, plastic file boxes with "stuff". I go through them every now and then, acknowledge what is there and let things go. Yes, there are still some things that are kept, but not everything.

    Again I am so sorry for your loss. Remember that grieving is a process. It takes time... lots of time. And you don't have to do everything all at once.
    To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. - Anon.

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  7. #17
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    We have had a lot of old dogs and they get to be so much work and cranky that it can be a relief once you grieve the loss. I like the idea of keeping what is meaningful from your husband. I would throw away 95% of DH’s stuff if he dies first

  8. #18
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    Corkym, I am sorry that you have started this journey you never wanted to be on. I too lost my husband suddenly with no warning almost 4 years ago and I know how terribly hard it is. You are very new to this stage of life so please remember you don't have to do everything at once, or anything at all until you feel like it. But if you do want to start disposing of things I would start with the things with little or almost no meaning, such as the broken pens & pencils, old computers (if you can find a place to take them), and not get into the more personal stuff just yet. See how you feel after disposing of those things, and slowly look at other items as you can. Take care of yourself too, rest, sleep enough, eat enough and don't push yourself when you don't feel like it. It will get done.
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by corkym View Post
    Thank you so much Gardner. I like the idea of keeping one box "forever" and also not having to keep things that were valued by him and not me. His bottle of "Carmel air" was the first thing I threw out....lol. Not sure why those kind of things such as the Bugs Bunny Pez container, Gumby and bags of broken pens and pencils, etc. irritated me but they did. I have taken at least 4 van loads of things to the thrift store and filled 2 large city curb
    side trash cans. And each time I do I feel so much lighter. Interestingly enough, 2 of our 4 cats died within a few months of when he died. They were both 18 and we had them for about 15 years so that was hard also, but in a way it felt much freer also. I was doing so much caregiving for my husband and 2 old cats (they were having old age ailments) plus working full time it started to all come crashing down. And then unexpectedly they were all gone. I have never cried so many tears in my life or felt such emptiness, but at the same time I feel so much lighter. Hard to describe.
    Having walked this journey with my sister, everything you say and describe feeling makes sense to me. Please don't let anyone tell you what is "normal". If you think it or feel it, it IS normal! My sister had many bouts of anger and frustration and that's part of getting to your new normal-the life you hadn't planned to live without him.

    The more you talk things out the healthier IMO. And as always, take good care of you and be KIND to yourself. You're doing really hard stuff right now in your heart, in your head and in your home.

  10. #20
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    corkym,
    Adding my condolences to those already expressed here. I've never been widowed but I'm wondering if there is a support group for widows/widowers nearby that could be a comfort for you? I imagine most of the work is mental or emotional vs. physical, and it would be great to be with others who can give you some guidance along the way.

    All the best to you.

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