belongings

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by ainie, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. ainie

    ainie Well-Known Member

    On the 11th it was 3 months since my Mike died. I am wondering how everyone has dealt with belongings. One day I feel it is time to start clearing things out. The next day I think everything needs to stay as it is. If I do change his office into my studio for painting will I regret it? I am confused because sometimes his things bring me comfort and sometimes the sight of the brings more pain. I wish je was here to help me decide.
     
  2. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    Disposing of a loved ones belongings is a very difficult task. Many, many tears left along with my Janet’s things. So many memories involved. But, It has to be done. Otherwise you run the risk of becoming a hoarder. Be selective. Talk to Mike while you are going through the memories. Personally, I think they can hear you. But that’s just my opinion.
    People think I’m a little wacky anyway.
    I’ve been texting Janet every day since she passed last October 18th. It helps me cope.
    We’re all just trying to get through the next minute, the next hour, the next day and so forth. Whatever works for you, even just a little, is worth it. We’re just trying to survive.
    I’m so very sorry for your loss, and I wish you relief from your pain.

    Bill
     
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  3. bel

    bel Member

    I find this very difficult too. It has been almost 5 months for me and I am only now able to bring myself to move some of my finance's things. I had family hounding me only a couple of weeks after trying to push me to clean up his things but I just waited until I was ready in my own time. His things were not hurting anyone by staying where they were. I still have plenty of his things that I am not ready to move so it feels like a little at a time is easiest for me.
    Hope you find your way with it
     
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  4. Kriss

    Kriss Well-Known Member

    I went thru hubbys clothes a few months after his passing at the time I was in a fog a friend was over and started helping me Now 6 months later I regret going thru them when I did. I miss his clothes in the closet. I wish I would have taken more time. I know at the time my friend thought she was helping but I think we did it too quick. I needed more time. I still have all his other things to go thru and I will in time but it’s not time yet. I still have his hankie on the end table next to his chair..my family thinks I’m nuts that I need to get rid of it. I’ve had allot of them offer to come and box everything up for me for me to go thru later. No. I need to do it when I’m ready. When if ever will they understand this. It’s like they want me to forget about him and move on. I will never forget about him. He was and still is the love of my life.
     
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  5. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

     
  6. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    One thing that I’m sure of is don’t let anyone put a timeline on your Grief. You do things when it feels right to you. Seek help, ask questions and don’t worry about time. What you are going through is very personal and shouldn’t be rushed. When the time feels right TO YOU, that’s what you need to go by.
    When I finally sorted through Janet’s things I couldn’t hold back the tears. It was really difficult and I still tear up when I think about it. I’m satisfied that I finally did do it, although it was horribly difficult. You’re in charge of the timeline.
     
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  7. ainie

    ainie Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your responses. Sounds like at some point you just know it is time. My house is in need of a good cleaning (while Mike was so very ill housework certainly took a backseat or as I say the housekeeper and the nurse had a fight and the housekeeper left). I have a friend from high school who has just offered to help me. I think we will start with the non-Mike things in the house and take it a day at a time. She knows me so very well and we think a lot alike so I hope that means she will be gentle with encouraging me. Another dear friend has offered help but she is a different temperament and just wanted to dispose of everything that was Mike's. I find even the things I am ready to let go I need time to hold them and remember before getting rid of it. Like I mentioned in another post I made a warm and cosy quilt from hubby's shirts but then had to hang the cut shirts back in the closet because I wasn't ready to see it empty. I think now those could go. I worry that if something should happen to me I don't want to leave my children the chore of cleaning up after us both. So I want to also sort and really clear my things at the same time.
     
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  8. Billfromwa

    Billfromwa Well-Known Member

    I think you’re doing great. Doing it all on your own timeline and choice.
    Grief can’t be pigeonholed. Just keep doing what feels right to you.
    Keep us posted.
    Bill
     
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  9. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    The cleaning out of things pretty much has me paralyzed. I’m having such trouble with that. I love your idea of making a quilt, but I’m having trouble cutting the shirts. I’m planning on making pillows with some of his shirts if I can get past cutting them. I’m proud of you for doing that. You looked at the end project I’m sure. That’s what I’m trying to do. Happy for you that you have friends offering to help. I need to start the process. I will eventually. And taking his name off bank accounts! That feels awful. I haven’t finished with that process, so painful. How are people getting that done? I’m upset writing it.
    Good luck, take your time. I’m thinking of you! Robin
     
  10. Kriss

    Kriss Well-Known Member

    I was told by our bank not to take the name off until 6 months to a year in case something would come with your spouse name on it
     
  11. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Thank you for that information. I don’t feel quite so negligent. I’m finding that process so difficult. Feels like erasing him. My husband did all the banking, taking his name is so upsetting.
     
  12. Kriss

    Kriss Well-Known Member

    Been almost 9 months and I still have his name on account. Can’t bring myself to take it off
     
  13. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    I’m right there with you. I’m over a year and only took his name off 2 accounts. I have CD’s and IRA’s I haven’t changed. Too difficult. When I went to SS office to get his checks changed to me I cried. These things are so hard.
     
  14. glego

    glego Well-Known Member

    As far as his clothes, I did some stuff I started with things that he didn't wear in a long time. We were planning a clean out when all the business stuff was settled, he just retired a few weeks before the last hospital admission. His jackets still hang on the hooks at the door. I've had friends offer to help, this is nice but when it comes to the clothes it's something that I have to do on my own. All I can say is you'll know, and there's no reason to rush it or let anyone rush it for you. This is a decision that you need to make when you're ready. I had two people tell me that I must get rid of everything and right away. Thankfully, I listened to my gut and didn't, I'd be heartbroken, (as if I could be any more) listen to your gut as you proceed with this and everything.

    I did do the name change at the bank and credit cards, you leave yourself at risk of identity theft, unfortunately, horrible ppl out there troll recent obits for information counting on people to be too distraught. Anything that comes in his/her name can be reissued in your name if it was a check. You may need to send a copy of a birth certificate to handle certain things. If they were the only beneficiary on life policies you'll need to rename those also. I was told to contact the DMV too.

    Yes, these things are hard, I agree.
     
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  15. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    I agree, we all need to listen to our gut. My thinking is how you feel, about friends helping with clothes, kind of need to do that myself. But that’s just how we feel, everyone is different. Some people probably need the help.
    Thanks for the info on accounts. I have done some of those things, I’m just moving at a snails pace. His drivers lisense renewal just came in the mail, that was upsetting. I’ve added my children as beneficiaries to my life insurance. Maybe I’m not doing too awful bad, I have done some of the more important changes.
    I have such regret that we hadn’t retired, Ron was ready to close our business and retire but I wanted to keep working, we planned to retire this coming Sept on my birthday and sign me up for SS. I keep feeling bad we stayed working cause I wanted to. We had such plans for after retirement, the usual traveling, and fixing things around the house. He didn’t get to enjoy that. Neither did your husband. It’s upsetting. Taken from us too soon. But it would always be too soon wouldn’t it.
     
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  16. glego

    glego Well-Known Member

    Hello Robin, sorry if my comment about "friends" helping came off wrong. I'm speaking to my own experience. True, some people may feel better with assistance. For me going it alone is best. From clothes, to businesses and everything, the only right way of doing anything here is what is right for you. All my ramblings are from my point of view and I know everyone has their own. It's funny, not in the haha sense, some days I think I might do this or that then I don't. I feel it's really no one's business what I do or don't do.

    My husband was on the fence for the last couple of years about closing the business, in one way it helped him. It tapped into the old memory part of his brain and at work it seemed as if he was just about himself again. Even his brother who is a doc said, he needs the business it's good for his head. However, my husband finally said while he saw the value in that, the business was struggling due to competition and it was difficult to hire people, so the stress was really rearing it's ugly head. I supported him in his decision, I told him whatever you want to do, we'll do. I maintained that he could always work part time for someone else, it was the customer interaction he enjoyed. Not the grind of doing paperwork after it became so difficult for him to do. Years before that his dad worked for us, he did the paperwork. Those were the happiest years for them both, his dad passed and it was only a few short years before my husband got sick. Oh how I feel for his mom, I wished so much that she wouldn't have to experience his loss.

    Taken too soon is right, I wish there were some way to just go at the same time.
     
  17. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    No worries, your comment was perfectly fine. I feel the same way, his clothes are so personal. I need to go it alone too. I agree the older pieces are quite a bit easier to go through.
    We had downsized our business a couple years ago. Made our lives a bit less stressful. I’m thankful we had cleaned out our business to move to a smaller shop, but it was still a huge and emotional undertaking for my daughter and I to empty and close our business. Made my heart ache, was so hard to go there every day and move his things. I miss going to work with Ron. I miss my everyday life. It’s crazy how similar our stories are. My in laws passed away 2 years ago within 6 months of each other. They were 87 and 82, Ron was 63.
    I feel bad for your mother in law, too! Devastating, does she live near by?
    This is a terrible new life we’re trying to navigate.
     
  18. glego

    glego Well-Known Member

    She lives about 45 minutes away, so that's nearby. I plan on visiting her and keeping in touch. The real process will be this Spring I have to work on the garage I don't want to do that in the cold. Now that will be something I'll enlist help with, a few of my friends, his brother and nephews will be called. The other thing about getting rid of things is not to be too quick, some things I thought were hard to look at I'm glad I kept, as crazy as it sounds his favorite bowl to eat soup out of, and some stainless steel straws I bought for him. What I did get rid of quickly was things that reminded me of his illness, his cpap machine and the so clean thing, he had them at the hospital for a bit, and when I had him transferred to a different hospital I took those home and cleaned and set up the whole thing for him to use when he would get home. I couldn't look at the stuff. I have a couple of walkers that he used just until he regained strength I have to donate those, but they are out of sight. I want to remember him in his being well state, not needing that stuff.

    I know your Ron and my Mark wouldn't want us to think of our lives as terrible, I'm trying to find a little joy in things everyday, going to try to weave these things together. He always wanted to see me happy, he wanted to see everyone happy, such a good man.
     
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  19. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    I love hearing your love story, it reminds me of Ron and I. I’m glad you’ll be able to stay in contact with your mother in law. I’m sure she appreciates it and I’m sure she gives you support as well. I have very little contact with Ron’s family, which surprises me but that’s how it is. His sister had recently moved to AZ she calls once in a while, that’s about it. Her husband had back surgery. Recently so I’ve reached out to them, checking on him, but if I bring up I’m having a hard time there’s no response.
    Cleaning the garage, I seriously need to do that as well. Many things from our business ended up in our garage. I need to go through things, I just know I’ll have a melt down, but like you mentioned it’s too cold for that right now anyway. I’m glad you have people you can ask to come and help. A lot of the big tools from our shop I gave to family members and that felt good, they went to good use. Some things we had in our shop came from my dad. My dad had a business also, he was a mechanic and worked on cars and along with that our family owned a bus company. He loved that Ron and I had our own business and supported us in every way he could. I actually have an antique car in my garage I got when my dad passed. Ron and I planned to refurbish it. Now what?
    I can understand not wanting to look at the things that remind you of his illness, I totally get that. I feel for you having to watch your husband being so ill and fighting so hard. My experience is so opposite of that. Everything here in our house is from happy healthy times. All his things are from a healthy time. He wasn’t sick or suffering, just 2 hours and gone. Had a beautiful day together, and now he’s gone. For a very long time I had to relive those hours in my head to try to come to terms with that really happened. I still go over how it happened, still feels unreal. The doctors in the emergency room worked hard on him, and at one point they told me they expected to put a stent in, within minutes they told me we should give thought on how long we want them to work on him they said he wouldn’t be able to live a normal life, he’s been out too long. I’m forgetting but I think you were told that too and had to make that decision. I can’t even imagine. Forgive me if I’m wrong on tha, I am sorry. I didn’t have to make that decision he passed very shortly after the doctor told me that. The doctor said that even if Ron had been to a cardiologist the day before they wouldn’t have seen this coming, crazy!
    I have things similar to Marks favorite soup bowl and straws, I use his favorite coffee mugs all the time. I buy his favorite snacks too. Somethings make me cry while others I need to use or have. No rhyme or reason. He had just bought me a new purse, so wonderful I have that, I use it constantly but then other times I think, I need to preserve it. Actually he bought me many purses, so wonderful but I go back and forth on using them. I’ve never stopped but I do question it from time to time.
    Mark sounds a lot like Ron, both such good caring loving men. Only wanting the best for us. Wouldn’t want us suffering so much. Ron took such good care of me, I didn’t worry about how I’ll manage with arthritis, he was here. Now I worry.
    We’re trying, but this takes time.
    Sorry I went on so long. Sending love your way!
     
  20. glego

    glego Well-Known Member

    Please go on, it's nice to hear other people's stories about the happy times and to commiserate over what we wish we weren't going through. Yes, a lot similar. My husband started out as a mechanic and then moved on to working as the service manager for dealerships and eventually owning his own shop. So tools, oh my, I didn't think it was humanly possible to own that many. His nephews aren't handy, and his brother has pretty much what he needs including a box. Of course I'm going to have his brother take anything he needs. However, some tools are those that a shop owner would own. I guess I have to get those valuated and sell them. His tool box, oh boy that's taller and wider than me. I'm guilty to here, lots of my useless stuff in the garage that has to go. The last few years we planned to clean it out, I just felt he wasn't up to the task. We also have a basement full of junk and some good furniture from another house that didn't work here. I'm overwhelmed, I know I have to take it a room at a time. Speaking of car repair, the first time in decades I have to find a place to take my car in. Did I say that I had a joke with him, I go first so I wouldn't be stuck with the cleanup. I may be repeating myself too. We have brain fog. And yes, there is no rhyme or reason to what sets me off too.

    How sweet that Ron bought you purses, I would use them lightly for special occasions. My husband hated shopping, so nothing like that here. I bought everything that he wore for the most part, every so often he'd buy something online. Even before he was ill he hated stores. He would like to go to the grocery store, but after the stroke he had issues with short term memory and would get anxious. Every so often he'd try and go, thank God for cell phones, he'd call me panicked from the store not knowing which way to go to find what he wanted so I'd guide him. He just wanted to do those normal daily things, and it bothered him that he couldn't. I know living on a vent and/or not being able to get around would be torture for him and selfish of me. I had to make that decision once, the how long, then the second time was not to try at all. I know right after he passed and said he was gone I wanted to scream, bring him back. I get mad when people say he was ill it wasn't sudden. Well to me in a way it was, he always bounced back, we were planning on his coming home, no affairs were put in order.

    I've exchanged a few texts with his sister, she's very nice, however we've never had an ongoing friendship. We talk of course at family events, but that's about it, same for my sister inlaw. Mark and I were each others best friends, we were happy being just us together most of the time, his friends from before live out of State and I'd go out with a couple of my friends a few times a month.

    I hope you can find some way to help your arthritis, I heard some new drugs are coming out for RA, or is a move in the future to where you'd feel less of the effects? I know we spoke about moving just as you say you did. I know for now I can't imagine leaving my support system now, not that it's a large one, but I have a few friends and some family that are sustaining me, to go somewhere and be totally alone would be crushing. I can't see anyone doing a move under these circumstances. I'm sure Ron would want you to do what you need to do to feel good.

    A day at a time, sometimes just a moment at a time. Hugs!