Clearing out a partners clothes etc...

Hello everyone…I lost my partner 14 weeks ago. And of course, every single day is brutal. Just the other day, my brother asked why I’d not cleared out my partners clothes yet? Or at least made a start. But, I tried. I could not do it. I guess one day I’ll have to do it. However, that day seems a very long way off. I met someone the other day, who still hasn’t cleared out her husband’s stuff after 5 years! I can understand her dilemma. For me, perhaps it’s just too early? All comments on this subject will be gratefully received. RayJay…

My wife died 13 weeks ago. I don’t need the space so I have put all her things into one bedroom and they will stay there until I feel I need to move them. I have three daughters and maybe they will do some sorting but there’s no rush. If they want to take things I would be pleased.

Hello Richard. In my opinion it’s far too soon to even think about clearing out your loved one’s clothes etc. How dare anyone suggest otherwise. Who says you have to do it ever? It’s been 17 months since my husband passed and I still haven’t cleared his things, nor do I intend to. I may have moved them around a little but that’s as much as I’ve done. His toothbrush is still in the bathroom, his shower gel is still in the shower and his deodorant is still in the bathroom cupboard. I sometimes give his deodorant a spray and I breathe it in - oh it feels so good, just like he’s there. So Rayjay, you do it when you’re ready, if that day ever comes and if it doesn’t well that’s ok.
Sending love xx

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Your brother has obviously not lost a partner. No one can understand the depth and breadth of the pain you experience. Children lose their parents but mostly they have a partner to comfort them and children to carry on their lives for. Parents were a lovely place to visit and phone and a familiar place to bring the children for family days together. I have said that the family can clear all our stuff when I am dead until then it stays where it is. Toothbrush in the bathroom, clean flannel on the rack and clothes hung neatly in the wardrobes. It’s your home so why would anyone tell you what to do in it. You have enough in the way of misery so don’t add to it.

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I lost my wife 3 weeks ago. Her things are all around me it makes me sad but while her stuff is around me I feel in some way she is still around. I may clear somethings but I will keep lots as well. Why would I want to clear them. Although perhaps I’m denying what’s happened but it’s my way of comforting myself.

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We were on holiday in may and Margaret died in July. I still have our holiday case in my bedroom unopened just can’t do it.
All her clothes are still in her wardrobe,i don’t need the space so why would I move them. Maybe I’m in denial but I can’t do it at the minute maybe I never will.

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Sounds as if we feel the same way about our loved ones things why move them. I still have a magazine and book open on her bedside locker it’s normality for me x

Hi nobody has to get rid of there loved ones clothes ,a charity shop needs them ,i think not .Before your love one died you would possibly just go into her wardrobe and get items out for her . But now looking at them feeling them smelling them to some bring comfort .To me it brings horror, pain .My wifes clothes are in a wardrobe ive no intention of looking at them shes not her to put them on .Shes died not left me of her own free will theres a massive difference that cant be put into simple words .On a tangent i sleep downstairs ive no intention of trying to sleep upstairs .Everyone deals with there nightmare differently .I could spend all day writing this post .My final message that i think all the time no one need my Denises clothes ,i have to clear her wardrobe out o no i dont thankyou very much Colin (im 59 my darling Denise passed 04032016 on her 41 st birthday )

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Hello Florence. You’ve hit the nail squarely on the head. No, my brother has not lost a wife or a partner. So you’re right, he doesn’t understand. And of course, as you also rightly point out, when you lose a parent - usually there is a partner to comfort you. A totally different situation. And yes, like you, I still have my partners toothbrush in the bathroom. Cannot bear to move it. Ditto, all her other things. It does bring a bit of comfort, though. You’re, right, I do have enough misery to deal with at the moment. It is a road I have to travel alone. Besides, I know that some things in life - such as I feel now, cannot be felt by anyone except me. The howling loneliness is not pleasant, but having her things about me reduces that loneliness - a small bit. So, my partner’s clothes will be staying where they are for the foreseeable future. As an aside, my partner loved Radley handbags. At the last count, she had 20 of them. Most of them are still like brand new. My brother said I should sell them on eBay. I just couldn’t do it! I appreciated your comments, Florence. At least I know I’m not the only one who cannot throw things out - or give them to charity. Best wishes…RayJay.

I’ve still got my wife’s shoes on the stairs toothbrush in the bathroom handbags in the cupboard and for now that’s where they can stay

There is no time limit on clearing out a loved one things, take it in your own time and don’t let anyone tell you when that should be.
I lost my husband of 50 years in March and I’ve just started to clear out a few of his things. I put his favourite music on and I go through his clothes bit by bit. I give the things I think they can use to the Dogs Trust. One bit of advice is don’t clear out for too long just an hour or so and don’t do it every day, just on the days you are feeling strong.
I still have his dressing gown hanging on the bathroom door and I touch it every time I pass it.

Hello Ashtrees40…Thank you for your reply. I appreciated your comments. Yes, I have my partner’s dressing gown still hanging up on her bedroom door. And yes, I can’t help touching it. I tried to clear out some of her clothes. I gave up after 1 minute. I couldn’t do it. I wonder when I will be strong enough to carry out the deed? Probably never? Her toothbrush is still in the same place, too. And there is no way that I could possibly listen to my partner’s favourite music. Instant weeping would ensue! So I wander around like a lost soul. Seeking redemption. And this will be the first time in 33 years that I’ve not spent Christmas with her. Just thinking about it, is horrible. So I won’t. Best wishes…RayJay…

I’m the same her night gown is still hanging up. Toothbrush still in the bathroom. Perfume still on the chest of drawers. I don’t feel the need to clear stuff Away. And Christmas can do one I’m not interested.

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I am just the same - my husband died 6 weeks ago and all his belongings are still where they were including his wellies being in the porch ready for a dog walk
Somehow it’s comforting to have them there. Partly I think it’s that I still hope he may come back (although I know that’s not possible) and partly it’s comforting to have his things about as they always were.
I am going to leave them until I am ready but don’t know when that will be
Take care

If that’s how we gain comfort I think what’s the rush. It keeps her presence around me yes sometimes I glance down and see her slippers on the stairs and I get a bit upset but the thought of them not being there would upset me more x

Surely this is a matter for personal choice. There is no right or wrong in this. It takes courage to have to take away a loved ones things. At the same time it can be so painful that we shy away from it. My wife died last week and I am going through some things. She was an artist, and I am keeping some of her paintings but taking others to the Charity Shop. Someone somewhere may enjoy them. Yes, it’s not at all easy, but I feel that keeping all her things would only prolong my pain. I will keep those things that I may be able to pass on to another artist. I know she wouldn’t want me brooding over her possessions.

Exactly right everyone deals with this their own way no right or wrong

I think sorting a loved one’s possessions is completely personal and not for anybody else to push you into. There is no right time. I put a ton of years of paperwork out past year, but his clothes, I have distributed among family or am making a huge patchwork quilt out of, and whatever won’t lend itself to a quilt is neatly folded in a big bag the bottom of my cupboard. I wear his teeshirts sometimes. I love having his electric razor, with some of his whiskers still in it. And I know of widows who kept their husband’s things hanging in the cupboard until she died herself. Everybody’s different, and that’s okay.

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Hi. I am so glad to hear that people don’t clear their loved ones things away. I can’t see me ever moving them. Like others I see no need at the monent if ever. His shoes are still under the table in the hall, coats on coat hooks next to mine. Cap and glasses on the back of the sofa. Thought I was being silly leaving them there. Thanks for those thoughts.

Hi Stevie wee, I lost my husband 7 months ago and I still have all his clothes, toiletries etc exactly where they have always been. His work boots are still in the kitchen where he kept them, his aftershaves are all on the unit on his side of the bed. I have no intention of moving/selling/giving any of Keith’s belongings anytime soon.
Having all his things around me gives me great comfort, even though my life has now taken a new path that I never expected to happen with out Keith in it, they help me feel he is still with me.
So do what you feel happy with as I’m doing. Take care, Dolly Dimple x