Lost and hassled

On the 10th December my wife of 38 years died very suddenly and totally unexpectedly at age 74. I have two sons, one lives in Brazil and is difficult to contact. The other lives in the same town and is supporting me. He is, however, trying to hard to organise me. Our lifestyle was different to his and I admit that to many we lived in a state of clutter but it was what we wanted. My wife’s father was an engineer an his motto was don’t throw stuff away because you may never know when you may need stuff. My wife followed his advice! On the day after she died he spent hours trying to throw away things from the kitchen. Today (Sunday) he came round for a couple of hours and told me to bin the large collection of herbs and spices she had collected. I doubt I will use any except the most common ones but after just 14 days I don’t feel able to just ‘bin’ her things. I shall be alone all over Christmas as my son has his mother, my ex wife, staying with him. The both made the suggestion ( hers via him) that I should have Christmas dinner with them. That idea was abhorrent to me. I have had 38 Christmases with Judy. The last thing I wanted was to spend my first Christmas without her with an ex wife of 40 years. I think he finally saw the sense of that, but still is insisting he will bring a Christmas dinner round for me. I don’t really want one - a bowl of soup and a roll will do - but I don’t want to seem churlish and I know he means well. I am writing this at gone midnight. I had fallen asleep but had a vivid dream (it didn’t feature my wife but my brother who has lived in Australia for many years). I woke from the dream with an awful case of the shakes which took me about 30 minutes to recover from. Sorry, this has been a long screed, but it helps to stop me brooding. I tried to confirm my address with Sue Ryder, but the email asking me to do that was list in my spam folder.

Hello Cliff, I’m really sorry to read about what has happened to you and your wife, that’s an awful shock to have to cope with. I lost my Husband some time ago now. Your time frame is just a blink of an eye and although your son probably means we’ll by disposing of possessions it’s worrying that you may bitterly regret doing so further down the line. I don’t think we’re capable of making decisions for a fair while and it’s easy to get swept along whilst in a vulnerable state. I sympathize with the Christmas dilemma, my Husband and I didn’t really do Christmas so there won’t be a big impact for me. It must be hard for you as I imagine you are bothered about hurting your son’s feelings. Whatever compromise you reach, I truly hope you get through the day as OK as you possibly can. Sending compassionate thoughts to you. Tina

Thank you Tina

Dear Cliff
I am so sorry that you have lost your beloved wife but hope that you can find a little comfort from this very special site.
Please try not to get upset with your son…in his own way he is showing his love and concern for you but probably not in a way that you need him to right now! Can you sit him down and explain to him that all you need right now is your own space? Let him give you the necessities you need to get through the holiday period and perhaps make a time or two for him to ring you so that you both have con tact and reassurance. Once the holiday is over you will have plenty of time to sort out anything you might wish.
Christmas is a very difficult time for all of us here but in reality it is just another day for us to navigate.
Take care…we will all be thinking of you.x

Hello Cliff so sorry you find yourself in this situation ,im sure our families mean well,and come up with ideas to make us feel better,so try to arrange things for us,but it is your decision and yours alone what you wish to do or not do with your belongings,and as Tina said it is far too soon to be making decisions like that,its 10 months since my husband passed and i still have many of his things around me,they bring comfort,a few things i gave to charity for someone to get use from,but most of his things i will keep always and never part with them.I have learnt Cliff that in grief you should only do what you feel comfortable with,and never feel pressured into doing the uncomfortable,blessings to you Cliff this Christmas x