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When - rhetorically speaking?
Agent 99
Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2016 2:02 PM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 2166

My first week.  The hardest thing to do was picking up my sweeties ashes from the funeral home.  I thought, after I left the supermarket on Wednesday, I would toodle up the road and pick up the leather wrapped cylinder, although I was going to ask if they could bring it out to the parking lot.  I didn't like being in the funeral home.  It was brand new, nice Home Goods type decor, but there was something very discomfiting rather than comforting.

Well, toodle was not to be.  I suddenly felt that it was too much for me to do by myself even with Chaos in the car.  Yesterday, my great friends/neighbor's went out to lunch then to the funeral home.  Joe carried the container to the car then I held it on my lap.  I was taken aback by its weight.  Today I put my sweetie on his side table next to the couch along side his eye glasses that I can't move.  His colleagues are building a replica of his favorite piece of lab equipment that he built in the seventies and called it Bertha.  Bertha will be his home away from home.

I have given most of my sweetie specific foods - fruit loops, Tostitos, nuts, cold cuts, full fat milk - to another good friend/neighbor who has growing children and who takes care of Chaos when I'm away.  

Other than that I'm leaving the iced tea pitcher and his iced tea sippy cup full in the fridge, not doing anything about his wardrobe and other belongings.  It's time to change the bed linens and I'm struggling with what to do with his side with all the incontinence defenses whether to put them back or not - when Chaos walks on his side and the pads crinkle like potato chip bags, I like the sound.  

I guess in a week or so I'll have to go to the office and remove my sweeties personal items.  He never really displayed anything at home - everything he was proud of is in the office.  His briefcase sits where he always left it at home.

So, I don't know when I'll feel like taking care of clothings, toiletries, tools, cars, shoes, etc.  Just wish friends and family would stop asking, WHEN!

Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2016 3:27 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 1747

A tea pot. Matcha. Hot water. A bowl.

Tea meeting.

A choreographed dance.

Art of ceremonial simplicity.

Made from the depths of the heart.

The whole expanding universe.

Inside an iced tea pitcher.

In my fridge.

The way of tea. 

Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2016 4:01 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20690

Agent...tell them "when pigs fly". I found a gyroscope that may serve as Dick's "resting place". I will put it among his books. Right now he is comfortable in his flight bag.

How wonderful that someone is going to make Bertha.

I could not have Dick back for over two months and they brought him to me. The people I delt with were/are exceptional. They have one client who's ashes are in some kind of frame and they go and put a seasonal photo her husband in a Christmas sweater.

I would keep the noisy sheets...

Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2016 5:51 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 13980

Hi Agent 99,

 There's no  hurry.   Charles has been gone a year and two weeks and I still haven't done anything with the clothing in his closet - except I did give some jeans and a suede jacket and a shirt to Todd.   I can't do it yet - it would feel like I'm getting rid of him in some way.  I may never do it and who cares?

 I have been able to pack away his t-shirts and lounging pants he wore - they're in a box in the bedroom.  We wore the same size shoes and I wear a pair of his diabetic shoes sometimes when I go outside.

 I did take off the padding on his side of the bed but his pillow is still there along with his picture and a stocking cap he wore.  I haven't even had the heart to put away the case the funeral home gave me with all the things/information from the funeral and the cards I received.   At some time I will put them with those of my parents.  Some things are just too hard and there's no reason to have to hurry to get them done just to satisfy someone else.  Go at your own rate, do the things when you're ready if you ever are.  I live by myself so no one tells me what to do or when - except maybe Barclee.  He sleeps on Charles' side of the bed.

 I don't know how long it takes to get over this - I'm certainly not there yet.  Sometimes I wake up at night to go to the bathroom and I try to be quiet, forgetting he's not there to be awaken if I'm noisy.  The mornings are the very hardest for me - just having to get up and start another day without him.  Without my animals to care for I might not.

 We're all different - we do things at a different pace and in different ways.  There's no set schedule when we have to do something.   I was looking at pictures in the camera this afternoon and some were of Charles during the last months.  I've been so emotional this afternoon - can't stop crying.  I've looked at them before and it didn't affect me this way - I don't know what's different today.  But, days are different and our feelings are different from day to day.  Go at your own pace - don't worry about what others say.

Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2016 6:18 PM
Joined: 3/19/2013
Posts: 314

99, I haven't been on the boards for awhile so I didn't know your Loved One had broken free of his struggles . Joyce died last July 4th and I still haven't been able to get rid of all her things and who know I may not , some things like shoes and winter coats are gone and it broke my heart when the came for them some jewelry I gave to our daughter, the rest of her things are still hanging in the closet where i will give them a hug fro time to rime.

One thing is for sure the sharpness of the grief has lessened  a bit but has not left, I do get some help from a therapist which you might benefit from as well.

Hang in there





Lesley Jean
Posted: Monday, February 1, 2016 9:35 AM
Joined: 2/13/2013
Posts: 2965


I started giving away my husband's things when he was in the NH. I cannot touch his end table drawers or his uniforms. I wear his LL Bean, fluffy slippers. I have his obit and a book marker that the funeral home gave me, in the living room. His burial flag sits proudly on a buffet table in the dining room. I have a collage of pictures of him by himself, with his kids and another one with me. They will stay up as long as I am alive.

As I gave his suits to our oldest along with shirts, slacks and some shoes, I feel that he would be glad his son is wearing them. His brother got some t-shirts and jackets, that he really needed. When Phil wears his Dad's clothes, he looks so much like his father. I love seeing his dad in him and it makes me happy.

Time will come that you will be ready. Until then, tell these people to go fly a kite!  You are in charge and it is your time line!



Posted: Monday, February 1, 2016 1:32 PM
Joined: 2/15/2014
Posts: 169

I started giving Jerry's clothes away before he passed,  I think for me it was easier as he was still here and I was not giving a piece of him.  He was a very large man and I gave his clothes to a church that help people.  I gave his medical supplies like the hospital gowns and a alert if he tried to get up (still in box) to hospice after he passed,  the medical supplies like his new pads and things went to a free clinic.  I could do it, I knew things could be used.  I did not want to throw away.  I had an old leather jacket, I put on the pile, 3 or 4 times and finally said if it is that hard to give up, I won't.  We have a small house and all of his things were big.  He was also a hoarder, so I needed to do something or I would have been overwhelmed.  I had redecorated the living room before he passed, they were finished the day before he died.  I wish I could have showed him it.  He loved having all the people all around, they were family and friends.  Some things are still here, lots of pictures,  his harmonica, his coffee cup.  But I think each person needs to do what they are comfortable with doing.
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2016 6:58 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408

I just wanted to stop in and offer my sincere condolences to all of you. Just know that nothing you're doing in handling your loss of your loved one is wrong. I slept with my husband's unwashed clothing and was comforted by his smell. I still have a box of his things. More importantly it is really good that you have here to come to and share what others may not understand or be able to talk about with you like you really need. I remember I wanted to talk and talk about my husband but there were only a few who could truly listen. I lost my husband on September 4, 1997 and then my mother on December 5, 1997; two big losses very close together. And 2 very different losses, having had lost my "past" with the loss of my mother and my "future" with the loss of my husband. 

Needless to say, I was reeling and in deep despair. My cognitive impairment does not let me forget that pain and I understand each and everyone of you and hope that you all find comfort, peace and meaning in your own unique way. Know that hours of mourning changes us and there is growth w/in us through some of our most painful moments.

It is helpful to think about something that you really admired about your loved one and try to take on that characteristic and make it your own in honoring them. 

((((Jkoc)))) I've been thinking about you and wishing you well!

Posted: Friday, February 5, 2016 7:02 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408

Ps: Feeling the need for a soft place to fall. Our board is just too much for me right now!
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2016 9:41 AM
Joined: 9/4/2014
Posts: 418

Agent 99.

II have not been on the board for a while, sorry about your LO, it's been nine months since my Gerda passed and I still sleep with her ashes, one of my friends think I'm nuts but that is his problem, I finally gave some of her cloth to a place that help woman get back on there feet.don't know when I will give the rest of them if ever.

II have so many things I know I will NEVER give away, I'm trying to move to Florida but to pack it all is to much,I took everything off the walls except her drawings, Cannot seem to pack them up, I want to look at them all the time, when I look at her picture s I smile for a minute then it turns to tears still.

Do everything at your pace , it's YOUR life not there's ,hang in there.


Posted: Friday, February 5, 2016 11:10 AM
Joined: 12/6/2012
Posts: 1249

Agent99, I hope that your friends are asking "when" so they are in stand by mode for support and not to render judgement. I had a friend whose DH passed, she left his belongings just where they were for years. I mean, what does it matter to anyone but you? Perhaps your friends are just trying to gauge your grief, again for support, by asking silly irrelevant questions. Many people don't understand grief, it is a very personal, unique experience.

Joel, I hope that your move to Florida will give you peace, will you be near your brother? How special that you have drawings from your Love, a piece of the physical to transcend into your heart for your lifetime. Her spirit will always be next to you.

Leland, good to hear from you as well. I love that you hug her clothes, find comfort in any act that fits you best.

All of you have touched me in positive ways during this journey. Lesley Jean, miss you on the spouse boards, come back to talk to us. W/E, Lorita, Judith, Blfrat, (Bonnie is it?) thankful for your contribution of course, always.

LLee, I am sorry for your loss as well. I hope that your side of the board will balance soon, I do understand your need for a safe place to fall.

Thank you Lisa, all of you for giving your e-friends a glimpse into the next stage. (((((Hugs)))))


Jo C.
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2016 1:43 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 12697

llee, I understand your needing a softer place right now; I am truly sorry for the dynamics that have been taking place; in fact, it made me think of you and being the very intelligent and thoughtful person you are, how it all must be affecting you.   It has affected many, and do know that the situation has been reported to Admin.  Big hugs to you and though I am sorry for the reason, I am glad to see you here.

When the heart is involved, there is no timeline and there are all sorts of rough spots that pop up that we never foresaw.  Though I was the primary carer and managed all finances and all business, healthcare, and advocacy in my mother's life and even though I was able to arrange her memorial service with great aplomb; I could not go and pick up her ashes.  For some reason, the thought even brought anxiety to me.  Fortunately, I had someone who could do that for me and I was so grateful.  Illogical I know; but it was what it was.

After my LO died, I did not make any changes right away.   I felt as though I needed to take a breath and if I had donated the clothing and other belongings, it felt as though I was losing her all over again.

When I finally did so, there were so many memories caught up in some of the clothing and belongings.  I actually felt as though I were doing something wrong even though I logically knew that was not so.   I donated much of her clothing and other items went to family and her beloved care aide who was with us for so long.  I miss her very much and every once in awhile, I will softly speak to her a bit.   Sometimes, tears do come, but they are no longer the raw, spirit diminishing tears.

From within my heart having been with my husband since we were 14 years old, and having been married so many years, and from what I read on this Message Board, I know that it is far worse and deeper heart-wrenching loss to lose a beloved spouse and there are no words that suffice.  Myself, I do not know how I would be able to manage a loss as great as that; but then, of course, one has no choice in the matter. 

I personally would not make a move to remove clothing or belongings until you are ready to do so; you will know when it is time.  If the rustling of bed clothes continues to provide a bit of comfort; then why not continue on as is if you wish.   Later, when things are not so abrading on the spirit, you can make changes as you see fit.  There is no right or wrong protocol; there is only what is right for you.

With soft hugs to all and wishes for many blessings to find you,


Posted: Friday, February 5, 2016 7:06 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20690

llee....I invite you to join us in a very caring thread filled with cows and misc stuff like snow, an occasional recipe and even a possible budding romance. "Just need to talk to my friends" on spouses. 
Several of us have lost our husbands, a couple of spouses are in care...just want you to know that...but the conversation is pretty undramatic usually. 

 It might be a soft landing! 

Jo C.
Posted: Friday, February 5, 2016 9:22 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 12697

What a truly great idea from jfkoc!   llee; you would LOVE it.   Go to Spousal/Partners and find the thread, "Just Want To Talk To My Friends," by Lorita.

This has been a long, long ongoing thread for years and everyone is welome.  Some of us on that thread are not spouses and that is perfectly okay; you would be very welcome as a new friend.   All are welcome.

There are a couple of people there from Australia, one from New Zealand, .Canada, and all over the U.S.   People keep up with one another and what is happening in their day.  Two of the gals there have ranches filled with animals which they take care of single handedly and we all get caught up with them and when the cows calve and we have even named the calves!

I hope you do go and get a look, and don't be shy.   Just jump in and enjoy!

I will look to see if you get there; hope you do.  It is such a lovely and loving place and such a soft and peaceful place to be where everyone looks out for one another and LOADS of support.   Thanks so much jfkoc for thinking of that.




Posted: Saturday, February 6, 2016 8:31 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408

((((Agent)))), please do and keep DH things and belongings how you like. May God Bless and see you through!

As some of you may already know the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale rates the loss of a spouse at 100 and proposes it is the #1 major life stressor above all else. It is vitally important that you all find your comfort and peace and not worry about the well meaning advice of others who don't have a clue as to how you are supposed  to handle your loss. 

Aww, how I long for undramatic! Thank you Jo and Jkoc, I will look for Lorita's thread.


Jo C.
Posted: Saturday, February 6, 2016 1:08 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 12697

Yep llee; you will find that a complete "no drama zone," which after the last couple of weeks, we all need a rest cure!  Whew.


Mrs. Braxton
Posted: Monday, February 8, 2016 8:54 PM
Joined: 9/12/2012
Posts: 929

Agent 99

  I understand all your feelings also.  I have my DH ashes here with me, I dont think I could have placed them in our plot, he wanted me to keep him until I was buried with him.  

I have not moved hardly anything ,  my niece moved a chair without realizing that I wanted it right where it was.

I dont know nor do I care when I will do anything else.  I am easy on myself about my grieving and how I do it.

My best friend came to town and asked me one day, why I still where my wedding ring ,  I was so taken back by the question.   It never occurred to me to take it off.    She did not understand and most people dont until its there experience.   

I liked Celi's post a month ago about her feelings,  it is different than I am handling and it has helped me and I printed it out.

We all grieve the way we need to and have different feelings about our future.  It is good for us to share and be supported.

love to you my friend.