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I failed again

debbieg5's picture
debbieg5
Posts: 168
Joined: Nov 2010

Yesterday I was all set to accomplish a lot of things on my "to do" list. I was getting everything all lined up so that I could do all my errands during one trip. One of the things was to take the bed comforter to the cleaners. I thought I was ready...but apparently I wasn't. I started pulling it back from the bed and then I brought the edge where Ken would have been laying up to my face and breathed in. His smell was still there and overwhelmed me. No one was in the house but me and I collapsed into a sobbing pile on the bed hugging the comforter. After awhile, i composed myself and decided that the stains would have to wait a little longer.

How stupid was that? Is anyone else having problems with removing "evidence" of your husband's life? I just can't bring myself to mess with his stuff yet.
Debbie

luz del lago's picture
luz del lago
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2010

Debbie,

I feel your sorrow. It made my heart ache to read what you went through today. You did not fail, you felt. You felt the pain of your loss. It is alright to to feel this, it is alright to close your eyes and breathe his scent on your comforter. They say that we react very strongly to scents. There is definitely a mental as well as emotional connection.

Tomorrow will mark 2 months since my love passed, and his closet is pretty much intact, his robe still hangs on the hook, and both my daughter and I can't even think of washing it! I have gone through drawers, and many t-shirts and shorts that he hadn't worn in ages have gone. Many were folded lovingly and returned to the drawer.

The cup with juice that he drank some out of, but did not finish before he passed is sealed in a heavy plastic bag and remains in the refrigerator, as my daughter cannot bring herself to throw it out! When she is ready, she will.

This coming Tuesday we will be burying him. It was decided to wait so that friends and relatives from out of town could attend, as it will be a full Military Honors Ceremony. Many loved ones have expressed concern that this may re-open the wound, I tell them that I am doing better, but the wound is still open. Maybe when his cremains are laid to rest, I will begin the task of going through his closet. Maybe...

Take care, dear one. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Lucy

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Lucy, I totally agree with you. There's no need to rush in getting rid of anything. My husband will be gone a year already on Mar. 25. I still have a knit shirt he wore the last time in a drawrer unwashed because it also has his scent on it. And have gotten rid of some of the clothes he had, but still have some in my closet just for the memory. Makes me sad when I see them hanging there, but it's like a comfort to me that he's still here. Crazy huh?
I guess I didn't realize that you hadn't had the burial yet. I'll be thinking of you and hope tuesday goes okay for you. Take care! Carole

debbieg5's picture
debbieg5
Posts: 168
Joined: Nov 2010

Lucy, thanks for understanding. it sounds like your daughter and you have some of the same feelings. There are a few things that I've straightened up but most I just can't deal with at the moment. His pair of slippers are still sitting by the bed. they need to be thrown in the trash because they were soiled with something. But I just don't feel up to it yet. Same with the closet and drawers. there will be time for that later.

I also didn't realize that you hadn't had the burial yet. I hope that goes well for you. It will be tough and bring things to the surface again. Ken's funeral was on a Saturday but his burial service at the Veteran cemetery was not until the following Thursday. it was just like re-opening a wound again. But I think you will feel a little bit of closure after that. let us know how that goes.
Stay strong,
Debbie

neverquit
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2010

Debbie, I agree with Lucy, you did not fail. Mike's long sleeve T-Shirt (his favorite one from one of our Seagull Century rides) still hangs in his closet along with his fleece lined flannel shirt (a Christmas present this year because he was always so cold the last couple of months) as these were last worn two days before Mike passed and still have his scent in them. Like Lucy, some time in the near future, I will clean closets out for us both, taking out the things we had not worn; this was a Spring project I had already planned to do. I am not yet planning on removing those things Mike still wore.

From what I have been reading and hearing, every one is different, there is no right/wrong and as my husband would say: "It is what it is". So if your not ready yet, please do not stress as we all do what we need to do in our own time.

And as for things that trigger crying, I spent yesterday with our friends Ski Patrolling. When two of the guys (also good friends of ours) showed me the print of the memorial pin they want to have made in Mike's memory, we all began to cry.

I hope this helps to know that you are not alone in what you are feeling and how you react to things. This is a journey we are all taking with many unknowns. Many hugs.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1610
Joined: Aug 2009

Nope, you didn't fail. It just wasn't time yet. I have changed some things and left others as is. I often find things I have forgotten, things that bring memories and cause a few tears. Without feelings we wouldn't be worth knowing. My husband was somewhat of a pack rat so I have much to go through. My sons are helping and they, too, have to wipe away a tear or two at times. Fay

Pennymac02's picture
Pennymac02
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

Mike's closet and drawers all all just as he left them. So are his awful, messy desk drawers. I just can't bring myself to do anything with those things yet. Unfortunately, I washed all of our laundry before we went to Richmond to try for the transplant, so none of his clothes still have his scent. Every now and then though, I'll smell his cologne in the bathroom medicine cabinet, but it makes me cry , so not very often. And his grungy Harley ball cap, the one with his sweat stains all over it, send me into hysterical crying the other night.

Its going to take time for me, too apparently.
Penny

debbieg5's picture
debbieg5
Posts: 168
Joined: Nov 2010

OK...so it looks like I'm not alone (or crazy). I'm glad to hear that there are others doing the same thing. It's only been 6 weeks since Ken died; guess I wasn't sure what was "normal". Penny, I know what you mean about cleaning all the clothes. I had been doing laundry all day on the day he died. He was going through a lot of t-shirts because of all the secretions coming out of the stoma in his throat. So they always had to be washed after he had worn them. I wish there had been some small piece of clothing that he had worn but was still clean. There are the 2 pillow cases that he was laying on that still havnen't been washed yet but the smell has not lingered there as much. A counselor told me that one of her clients had taken the pillow case and put it in a plastic bag to maintain the smell. I should have done that earlier on but I just didn't want to move things from the way they were. His dresser top is still a horrible mess of papers and things. sometimes I sort of look through it but don't want to really sort through and throw things away yet.

A friend had suggested making a quilt out of various pieces of his clothing. I think at some point, I will sort through things and decide what will work well for that. Until then, the closet will just stay as is.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1610
Joined: Aug 2009

There are a number of websites advertising memory quilts. I actually found one that made memory dogs. The lady who does those was really nice. I sent 4 of my husband's shirts for 4 dogs. I had one made for each of our 4 granddaughters. It was interesting that the lady made a point of saying she didn't wash the shirts since they might still have the loved one's scent on them. Mine had been washed, however. The granddaughters really like them. I waited until I thought the loss was not quite as raw to give the dogs to them. I know others have made or had made memory bears. I liked the dogs because my husband loved dogs. Two of the shirts were favorite Hawaiian ones and two had the symbol of a favored organization on them.

debbieg5's picture
debbieg5
Posts: 168
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks Fay. I'll have to check for some of those web sites. A friend at church is going to make it for me but it would be good to get some ideas.
deb

Nicole41
Posts: 20
Joined: Feb 2011

DO NOT BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF. I just lost my mother 3 weeks ago and did the very same thing with her sheets. I went to change them and breathed in as well. I lost it as well. Carried on for what seemed like hours. I simply folded the sheets and put them away in her closet. You will take of his things when you are ready. Be patient and tell him what you are experiencing. Perhaps he will give you a sign that it is ok to let go of his things............

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