Cleaning closets

by Judy
(Rockledge FL)

If you have been reading along here for a while you know that cleaning out and disposing of Barry's clothes was the most difficult thing for me to do. It's been 16 months since Barry died and I have been sleeping every night a mere foot from the closet and resolutely ignoring it. A couple of weeks ago my grief support leader said "It's time to do this and I am coming over to help!" This was wonderful since I desperately needed help to get started and I never would have asked. She appeared as promised and I have to say that her gentle guidance and emotional detachment from the clothes gave me the ability to finally do this chore.

In the end I threw out a lot of stuff, especially the shirts and things that just screamed Barry to me when I looked at them. I don't want to be going through Wal-mart and see some stranger in his shirt. The generic Florida stuff I gave to Goodwill since every man here wears shorts and Hawaiian shirts.

I feel better now. I faced this job and did it. It kinda showed me that I can face whatever comes along and I feel a little more like the strong competent woman I know I am. I'm feeling more positive. Sometimes I still get a sad moment, or an angry one. The other day I saw an older couple walking into Target holding hands and I wanted to get out of my car and slap them for being happy. That used to be us! But then rationality returned, I took a deep breath and went on. One day at a time.


Comments for Cleaning closets

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Mar 24, 2011
For Shannon
by: Judy


Your beloved has been gone a very short time. People will tell you you need to move on etc but this is a very short time after a big big loss. You have not even began to experience the worst of it yet. Moving on, throwing out clothes, selling cars etc may be the way you will be better and stronger, and it may not. Only you can tell what makes you feel better and what doesn't. If cleaning out the closet makes you feel good, do it, if it doesn't just shut the door and let them sit until you are able to face it.

Your children will not think one way or the other about the clothes sitting there and if they ask just be honest with them. This is a hard thing to do and you'll do it when you feel able to do it. Until then it's a reminder of how their dad was in their life. They may be a spring board for happy memories and shared times. The kids are processing this loss in their own way also. Nobody needs to be rushed. Grief cannot be rushed.

Bless you and your little ones.


P.S. Gadzooks Hope! I did one closet and you are tackling the whole house. I admire your stamina.

Mar 24, 2011
Still have not taken that step....
by: Shannon

My husband of 15 years passed away January 13th 2011 and I can't even think bout removing my husbands cloths... All my friends have been saying for the past weeks that it is time for me to move forward not move on but forward into the future... And I am not sure I am ready for that... I have 2 children my son, 14 who looks just like his father and my daughter, 11 who is the most beautiful little girl ever... Here is a question am i showing them that it is not ok to move on by not removing my husbands clothes???

Mar 23, 2011
not just a closet "THE" closet


A painting project turned into lets clean the clutter of the ENTIRE house and just as I thought we are near the end, nothing can jump out and say boo or in my case boo hoo hoo. In the junk drawers fluttered out a pay stub when Paul was healthy before all his health problems really started. My brother and sister-in-law have come over every Sat. or Sunday to assist in this monumental Why the hell did I start this project?

They help as I say keep, donate or toss. As the days pass I think myself growing stronger and in comparison to days past I am.

I still talk to him every now and then when no one is around. I belittle myself, Laugh at myself
and often just tell the walls I'm doing my best cut me some slack. And that is what we need to do, cut ourselves some slack.

This is still hard regardless of the time that passes. Will we ever be over this? I don't think Over it is the correct term. We will never "get over" lost love but with time. We can accept that although we did not have enough time be grateful that we met and loved them the time that we did have with them...

Mar 23, 2011
by: M Mack


You should be so proud of yourself for getting through the dreaded closet. This is a good thing and sounds like you had the right person alongside of you for support. The belongings left behind by our loved ones are so precious to us, constant reminders of them. In reality the items are nothing compared to the memories in our hearts and minds. I'm glad you posted this for all of us as a sign of encouragement. Today is the day Ray died eight months ago. I will use the closet to torture and comfort myself yet I know better.... They are only items that can't hang there forever or bring him back to me. I pray we gain momentum in our strength ever day knowing it will take time. Best wishes, hugs and prayers.

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