When do I start....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by timer lady, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I'm feeling a tad stuck ~ okay really stuck here. I feel as though I should be sorting through husband's clothes, books, papers & such. I should be donating, recycling & trashing things as the case may be.

    I still cannot go into our bedroom. I've moved my clothes & other items out of there & have closed it up. I cannot even tell you why; I should be cleaning it up ~ you know that spring clean.

    There are many "I shoulds" in this thread I know. Except I'm not doing anything ~ something, anything is better than being stuck like this.

    I don't want kt going into treatment & me being alone here - surrounded by memories, symbols of those memories. I think I'd lose my mind.

    There is a part of me that wants to tear our bedroom apart & make it mine. Lose the bed, the furniture. Set up a daybed. A comfortable chair & lamp. There will be room to move my desk out of the dining room & into my bedroom I like that idea because of nosy eyes (kt).

    Do I force this or not?
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!


    If you think changing the bedroom will help to get you unstuck, then I think you should consider it.

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't know of a time frame that you should do or be done iwth this by. I do know that until very recently you were not yet fully grieving husband. So it may take more time to reach that "should" time. Sort of like a preemie baby takes more than 9 mos to reach those 9 mo milestones, Know what I mean???

    If you think it will help you, then go and work on clearing stuff out. Maybe, at first, just work for ten minutes a day. Or even hire someone to work with you in there.

    It WILL be hard if kt goes to treatment. But you will make it through all that, and if it is what kt needs, well, she needs it. If it is too much, then take that time to go visit relatives, at least at first.

    Recently your doctor told you something had to give. How will adding another big job that "should" be done help you find time to relax and deal with stress? Woudl it be easier to just hire someone to go in and box up everything and put it in the garage or storage so you can sort it later? Seems like that would be cheaper than paying for a long term (or even short term) stay at a hospital.

    I am so sorry you ahve to go through this. But please ask one of the in-home workers to recommend someone to pack all that stuff up for now. With the clothes maybe pick a few items wm and kt and you would like and pay that person to take it all to Salvation Army? It would lessen the stuff you have to store.

    Sending some very gentle hugs to you.
  4. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I think you will know when it is time. And until you know, I wouldn't worry about it. My mom never did move my dad's things. due to his Parkinson's disease, he had his own room with a trapeze above his bed and special items to help him. She never moved those things.

    in my opinion - you need time for you. Time to process all that has happened. And when the time is right, I think you will know and will be at peace.

    Thinking of you and the kids.
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Linda, all I know is that everyone grieves at a different pace and in different ways.

    When my Dad died, it took my Mom a full year to sort and donate his clothes and some things she kept for the rest of her life.

    A friend of mine who was widowed took comfort in painting and redecorating her home, a way of "starting over" like you are suggesting for yourself.

    Another friend dealt with her grief by going on match.com and marrying the second man she met.

    The one thing all 3 of these women have in common is that none of them considered the "shoulds" of healing and all of them trusted their gut about where they were and how quickly they would move forward.

    Follow your gut. It's trustworthy.

  6. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I agree go with your gut. when my first husband passed we had no kids & lived in an apartment. I never did exactly clear out his things. when my pop died I think my mom didn't go thru pops clothes for a couple years. some things she never did. when my best fried was dying she herself ordered her in home hospice nurse to dispose of her things before she died & after she passed her daughter moved into moms bedroom but repainted it in her own fav colors but kept the furniture for comfort. every person is an individual. everyone handles things their own way. in their own time. when my mom passed her house had to be sold quickly for my youngest brother - so we turned it into a memory party. I drew much comfort from handling moms things & shareing stories with family & friends in the process. I have a feeling you will know when YOU are ready to do something. follow your gut & heart. soothing gentle hugs to you
  7. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Linda, there's no "ought" to this -- it's when you feel that it's time for you to do it, and until then, just go with the flow. When my mother died, after one week my father asked us three girls to go through all our mum's things and get rid of the lot, and we did it for him more or less within one day, because that's what he wanted. On the other hand, there's a lady whom I work with whose husband died about 5 years ago, and she still won't let us touch a single thing of his -- all his shoes, sweaters, you name it -- all still in its place and heaven help us if we move anything at all. And both ways are fine, everyone has to do what he or she feels is right for them. Whenever you do it, it is hard and distressing, but it has to be done in the end. Sounds like a good idea to make your room into a sort of "den" away from prying eyes, I like that idea.

    Go easy on yourself, don't force it. It's still very fresh, so take it easy.

    Sending you a (((((hug))))).

    Love, Esther
  8. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Linda, It took my mother over a year to clean out my Dad's clothing and personal effects. Don't be so hard on yourself. If you really feel like you need to do this but do not have the energy call your sister or niece and ask her to come for a visit and help with this task.

    When My mother died we had to clean out her place fairly quickly. My sister's were not thinking straight and they said that they didn't want any of her things. So I took them and held them for a year and then gave them to my sisters. My point is that you do not have to do all this by yourself and having a bit of help is often a very good thing. If on the other hand you simply are not ready, then just leave it be...you will know when the time is right. (((HUGS))) -RM
  9. Linda,

    I agree with everyone else, you just need to pace yourself. There is no rigid agenda here. We boxed up and cleared out all of my father in law's belongings the week after he died. My mother in law was most appreciative. We offered the same to my mother when my dad died, but that is not what she wanted. She chose to do this herself, maybe a year later.

    I think each person has to do this (or not) in their own time and way. However, I do think that having someone else do it for you has great merit.

    Sending many gentle hugs your way...

  10. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Linda, you seem to me to be a person who is always on top of things no matter what is going on- You have a to do list and you always take care of each and every item -sometimes that trait, while a good thing, can put you on overload.

    Aren't you going to be going thru a kitchen/bath remodel soon? Maybe wait till after that is done. It might be enough of a change in the house that reflects your new life and a start of new momories that it will make it easier for you to deal with that room.

    Just because it needs to be done is not a reason for you to have to do it right now while your grief is still pretty raw.

  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    My dad's been gone 2 years Friday. Mom just got rid of his clothes a month or so ago.

    She vowed to not make any rash changes for a year - er first intinct was to sell the farm and run. She made herself wait a year, and now her gut reactions have changed. She may still end up selling the place, but for very different reasons.

    Time heals, yet its so hard to wait for. Hugs.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    When my brother in law suddenly passed away, my sister rented an air conditioned storage space and had all his things taken there for later decision making. She only kept things like his jewelry box and special memorabilia at home with her and the children. For her it reduced her grief but prevented her from feeling that like she had quickly removed him. Months later she donated all the clothes and shoes after thinking about the needs of the homeless.

    Your way will be the best for you. DDD
  13. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    When my stepdad died a few years ago, we didn't move his stuff out of the bedroom for....god, months, at least. Maybe as much as a year. The idea of it made Mom tired, and she didn't want anyone ELSE doing it, so it just got postponed until we were all ready. Don't feel ANY pressure to do anything on a timeframe---but do try to do little things to get yourself back into your bedroom.

    You know how things like that are. First, you stop going in 'cause it's painful, then because it's a habit, and eventually the closed door becomes this giant pink elephant in the house. For now, at least leave the door open, all the time---any little thing will help. *hugs*
  14. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    "Do I force this or not"? Defiantly NOT. The ONLY thing you SHOULD do is give yourself the time you need to grieve.

  15. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I like DDD's suggestion. It is probably too soon to sort through his stuff but I do think redoing your bedroom is a good way to get unstuck. (((HUGS)))
  16. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    The others have given good advice. Operate on your timetable, not on what you think "should" be happening.

    Many hugs.
  17. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I say don't let anyone or anything dictate this. You need to do this at your own pace. When you are ready to go through his things, you'll know. You are going through a major overhaul of your house, right now. Perhaps when the kitchen is done and the dust has settled from all the construction, you and your neice can go through it all. I think it would be helpful to do it when your neice is there, anyway.
  18. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    When do you start?

    Whenever you feel like it. If you want the room but can't get rid of things yet, as other's have said, do the room, store husband's belongings and sort when you're ready.

    If, however, you're not up to even going in the room yet.....well then...it's not time.

    There is no set timetable on these things just as there is no set schedule for grief. You go at your own pace.

    If, though, you really want to start doing SOMETHING, maybe start with the small things that you know you won't keep or give to someone....toothbrush, razor, deodorant...things like that. Personal items yes....but not ones that are likely to be handed down to Kt or Wm.

    Or, maybe as you do laundry, slowly start taking over closet space or a dresser drawer. You don't have to get rid of husband's clothes but maybe just put them someplace else a little at a time and make decisions later.

    I like your idea of making your room over but don't feel like you have to do it NOW. Do you ever watch Extreme Home Makeover? I've seen more than one episode where the parent is a widow/widower and, while the master bedroom is designed around the one person, there are still aspects of the spouse in the room. A picture, special belonging.....one episode put the husband's work boots in a prominent place in the home.

    Make your plans, sketch out your ideas for your room but for the actual work....do what feels right WHEN it feels right.

  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just adding in my support and agreement with the others, do it in your own time. Hugs.
  20. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader


    I agree with the other suggestions. Take your time. If you're comfrotable with it, have someone box up a majority of H's things and put them in storage or the garage off the ground. Make a plan and have the room fixed up to make it your own - pretty, private, relaxed, and comfortable...surrounded by your things.