Their Stuff

Especially for those who have lost husbands, wifes, boyfriends, girlfriends, or partners to suicide.

Their Stuff

Postby surprisedinsurprise » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:58 pm

I know we all grieve in our own way and our own time.
But I'm curious what other folks did, who lost their significant other.
It's different for kids or parents, but this is your soulmate, your other half, your partner.
When did you start packing up their stuff, getting rid of things, deciding what to keep and what not to?

Obviously there's exceptions like having to move or needing space, I'm talking about if you had the option, how long?

It's been a month, and I don't have the slightest desire to start the process. That's fine, that's normal for me.

I'm just curious when that urge kicks in to start letting go. A month? 2? 6?

For you, personally?
surprisedinsurprise
Newbie
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:14 pm

Re: Their Stuff

Postby Moun10dew » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:39 pm

I honestly did not have a lot of Kristin's stuff so probably not what you are looking for but I did have a drawer of her stuff. Clothing that she had here and a few odds and ends. I got rid of her contact lens case but that's about it. There was a bit of swapping that her twin and I did. Kristin left a winter coat here. I gave that to her sister. She also wanted one of her sisters bandannas. I got a few items in return. One of them being a pair of black high heal dress shoes that has significants to us.

Two of my friends bought me a memory chest that I put what little clothing I had left of hers. There are some other items of hers in there. I also still have the bottle of body wash she used hanging up in the shower. I can't bring myself to part with.

I brought up the topic of Kristin's suicide on a dating site message board. I was asking about what others thought of dating someone who's lost someone to suicide. I basically got ripped apart on there by everyone. Specifically I was told that it was stupid to have a memory chest for a girlfriend. Was told if it was a wife it would be totally different. I guess I don't see it that way.
Moun10dew
Regular
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:24 am

Re: Their Stuff

Postby WifeLess » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:37 pm

surprisedinsurprise,

After living with my wife for 25 years, there was an entire houseful of her personal belongings to deal with in the aftermath of her suicide. Although I removed her clothes, toiletries and paperwork from the closets, bathrooms and home office pretty early on so as not to drive myself crazy on a regular basis, they sat in an unused bedroom for more than 2 years. Over the next several months I donated all of her clothes and other items that I could, discarding the rest. I had previously decided that she was not in these things, and so most of them held no special significance for me. I didn't need these or any objects to remind me of her or of the life we lived together. Those memories will always be with me.

--- WifeLess
WifeLess
Newbie
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:14 pm

Re: Their Stuff

Postby Blossom » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:50 pm

Recently, I retrieved a pair of my son's work shorts out of the rubbish bin 2 days after I put them there. I washed and wore them while I put 2 coats of paint on the internals of a new house. Anyone else (not affected by suicide) would think that whacky - I found it comforting. I can see him in those shorts. He worked so hard. It reminded me (in those bad mother moments) that I used to get up early to make good solid lunches for this young man to take to work and I know he appreciated it. He's been gone nearly four years. Things like his good microscope, his bone collection, I keep....I hoard the things that might be of interest to a young child who may visit one day. The other day I realised that I miss the little boy he was....I do not miss the little boy my surviving son was. It makes no sense.

At first . nothing was thrown away....we needed him with us, even if it was his stuff that was with us. It's like there is another moon that we cannot see - another invisible moon with another cycle...and when it is full, we find ourselves a little dismissive, agitated, primed for action, whatever, and there is a little 'push' to deal with bits of their stuff....not all of it, but a box or a bag or a drawer. Mostly, for me, I have not been in a position where I was forced to do any of this. Mostly, it has been a natural and gradual shedding or rehousing (some bags get unpacked, one thing thrown away, packed again and so on). If you have not had this experience of dealing with a loved one's good and chattels, then I know that it is a strange experience and it is natural to be curious about others in the same situation. Although our experiences are different, there are some similarities and it helps to seek that context so you can sort of 'plot' yourself- a little contrast to help an identity emerge about your own grief needs and style. It's a changeable beast too.

Most of all, I love my son's ashes (I have half of them). They are beside me on my bedside table. They were supposed to be tossed into the ocean or some such....but I love them too much as company. They are in a beautiful wooden, oriental, long rectangular box and I can hold it (wrapped in a lovely shawl) as I would a baby....every couple of months or so. You know those pillows that are like a sleeping partner? The ones you hug? I guess it's a bit like that. My my, it's lovely to be human and simultaneously be the magician and a (not so random)member of the audience.
Blossom x

If nothing else, give refuge to those in need.
Blossom
Mentor
 
Posts: 1590
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:01 pm

Re: Their Stuff

Postby lyn » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:09 pm

It is coming up on 2 years for me and it has happened in spurts when my mind can do what needs to be done eventually. Some people get rid of almost everything quickly; some move. You'll hear about organizations that you think would be a caring way to give away things your loved one won't ever need again. Some things, like jewelry, you may wear. If you get comfort having their belongings around keep them until you may not need that comfort. Married for many years, it seems I adjust my surroundings as my brain adjusts to my reality. Some things I'll keep and let my children decide to keep or discard. In the scope of what has happened it's one thing that is really not a big deal. It's more kind of a question of what eases the pain. What helps. It's different for everybody but deep down the same.
lyn
Regular
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:39 pm

Re: Their Stuff

Postby lostdennis » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:07 am

I appreciate this topic and all of the comments. My lost occurred in August 2013; I have't felt like getting rid of anything and there is a lot after 22 years. Dennis was a professional person and did a lot of reading and writing; so I have lots of books and papers all over the place; I frequently find a note he wrote or a thought he had; in addition he tried Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to deal with his depression and I find his notes and journals. He worked so hard to live. He was also creative; he made pottery and was a photographer; I have his creations all over the house; I haven't been able to move stuff; I love his work; I love Dennis. I just need to say that. I appreciate this group and I am beginning to recogize your names and remember your stories. I am sorry for our tragic stories. Most of all I want to keep all those notes and cards we wrote to each other.
lostdennis
Newbie
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:51 am

Re: Their Stuff

Postby Blossom » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:40 pm

"He worked so hard to live".

Thank you.

May we never ever ever forget how hard our loved ones worked to live.
Blossom x

If nothing else, give refuge to those in need.
Blossom
Mentor
 
Posts: 1590
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:01 pm

Re: Their Stuff

Postby cali » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:08 pm

Yes. My son worked very hard to stay here too. It has been 3 and a half years, and only a few months ago did I empty his room, because I was replacing all of the floors in that part of the house. Now his things are in the living room, mixed with the things from another room, and due to the stuff, the living room is more like a hallway at this point. It's been very slow going, the removal of stuff, and the floor work. He was also a prolific potter and though I'm often asked, I have trouble parting with those things. And they are also all over the house. It's just how it is. He was supposed to go out in the world and take the things he wanted. He took such good care of his things. Everything I gave him over the years I now have back. I didn't want those things back, I just want him back.
cali
Supporting
 
Posts: 809
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:14 pm

Re: Their Stuff

Postby surprisedinsurprise » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:45 pm

LostDennis - it just helps to know that others feel similar feelings, don't you think?
I have found that people move on so very quickly while I'm stuck, my life is shatterred. Don't get me wrong, lots of people care.
You can tell the difference between "how's it going" and "how are you doing today". The one, the only right answer is "ok" or "fine", the other, you can actually share that you hurt, or that you are coping well that day, or whatever.
But then there's this group, and it's different. People actually want to know "how are you doing today", and it's ok to share. It's ok to say, today sucked. Or, I can't sleep. Or I had this weird dream. It's ok.
In the "real world", there's very few people who really want to know what's going on.
I have a few people that truly care, and that's great, and that's generally enough.
But you guys are there when I don't want to burden those people anymore!
It's only been a month, for me, one month yesterday. And even in week 2, people had started to move on. By now, it's just that handful of people who even think about asking how it's going, everyone else is just uncomfortable and wants things back to normal, and has moved on with their lives.
surprisedinsurprise
Newbie
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:14 pm

Re: Their Stuff

Postby MybrotherJohn » Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:33 pm

It's only been 2 1/2 weeks since my brother took his life, but I've went kinda crazy cleaning the house (we lived alone together). I sleep with his T-Shirt, he helped raise me he was like the dad I didn't have and that shirt makes me feel safe. Yeah it's silly. The house was pretty messy because I was out of state for a month when it happened so coming back I found the house a total mess. I've been getting rid of stuff, saving some stuff. I don't think there's a "right" time, you just have to do what feels right.
MybrotherJohn
Visitor
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:16 pm

Next

Return to Left Alone

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

This web site built and maintained by Rick Hellewell / CellarWeb.com -- Portions Copyright © by Rick Hellewell / CellarWeb.com, All Rights Reserved.