When is the right time?

My wife, Bev, died 19 months ago and recently I have dealt with all the legal issues, LPA, probate, Land Registry etc. I now feel that I should start sorting through her clothes etc to donate to the local charity that has given us help during her last days. My son seems ok with this but my daughter is unwilling to commit to coming to our house to do this. Am I doing this too soon? I am not trying to remove her memory from my life or the house, in fact her photos are in nearly every room and I have kept her favourite coat and her honeymoon dress but there are dozens of dresses, skirts, jeans etc that could be sold to raise much needed funds to help others. I don’t want to rush my daughter but is it too soon?

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Sorry for your loss. There really is no “right time” it’s whenever you feel ready. We all spend far too much time worrying about what others think and feeling guilty.
Because I already know my husband will die soon, we talk about it quite openly, I’ve already said to him if he’s looking down and I’m clearing out his things, I’m not being horrible I simply need the cupboard space for my youngest.
Like you, we have pictures everywhere and I’ll be talking about him to the kids when he’s no longer here. I always feel one special thing is more important than a cupboard full of “stuff” the memories will still be there xx

Hi, its coming up to 2 year for my husband who was only 46 yr old .I’ve not moved a thing ,even his beloved football tops are still as he had them , but I am thinking the same to start taking afew things to the local charity shop ,eventually all of his clothes apart from his SAFC tops .
I think if you think its time then do it ,as you say ,you have plenty photos its not like you’re erasing her memory .


Hello, so sorry for your loss, I have the same problem, my wife died just over 14 months ago, I have her photos around our home, and still have her clothes, I have tried to sort them and give to charity, but I keep getting feelings like I am giving her away for good, I know she won’t come back but what good are there doing

mine has been gone 18 months, i got rid of most of his stuff within a few day of him dying, certainly clothes. the only things i hav of his apart from photos are his computer, his dog ornaments that he collected and his ashes and of course the memories. i personnally cant see any sense in keeping anything else taking up room. we were together 48 yrs but my life has changed not that i like it oner bit but he isnt coming back so no point in keeping the stuff. its your decision and no one elses, you dont have to ask anyone.


I’m so relieved I’m not the only one. My husband hasn’t died yet (he’s terminally ill) but I know this will be me. For me, memories are in your head, heart and photos. X

Hi Jeff,

I dont think theres is a right time, its different for everyone and you have to do what feels right. My partner had a makeup/dressing room in our house and I swore I would never clear it out, but around week 21 i just went in there one day to look for something and ended up clearing a lot of clothes. She was passionate about donating to women in need so I took them all to Women’s Aid. Her best friends came round and took whatever pieces they wanted and sorted through all of her makeup stuff. Although i was hurting while i was doing it and missing her, it felt right at the time, and i feel like shes helped other people and i have the extra space for our daughters things. There are things I kept, like her favourite pieces of clothing and jewellery. Maybe you could try doing it bit by bit, go through 10 items one day or week and 10 the next? That way it wont feel like you’re rushing it and itll give you, your son and your daughter time to process it


I gave most of Gary clothes to The local Charity Shop.that l support.& the rest of his things.l gave to his Brother & his daughter.mainly because we had a very small place & also l am extremely tidy & l am always having clear outs.l kept some stuff that was personal to us.like photos & souvenirs of all our holidays.hes always with me & l will hold him forever in my heart.as like you l accept hes gone & not coming back on this Earth.

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I have now sorted all of Bevs clothes, shoes, handbags etc, put them on the bed and made a promise to myself that none will go back in the wardrobes. It’s a horrible thing to have to do but they are all there in plain sight and hopefully my daughter will visit soon to help donate them to charity.


I got rid of most of Keef’s clothes quite early on as I hated going in the wardrobe we shared and seeing them all of the time. I’ve kept one or two t-shirts which we got on our last holiday, summer 2023, when visiting distilleries so I will put them in a box with other memories to keep. I have lots of photos around the house of him to remind me of what a healthy and happy person he was so perhaps one day I’ll be able to erase the horrible image of him in those final few days in hospital.


Thankfully before I lost my darling wife we had the chance to talk through some things , one was her funeral wish that we honoured last Tuesday, another was her wish that I clear her clothes as soon as possible. A load of them went into charity bags collected yesterday morning - I cried as I put them out but then felt a sense of not quite relief but that I was doing what she wanted me to do. Half her clothes are still to go to charity, however we’ve invited her mother to look through them to see if there is anything she would like to keep, whihc she will be doing tomorrow so those can then be taken to the local Sue Ryder shop. Not that everyhtings going out, as my grown up children and I are putting together a memory box of those items that elicit really treasured memories. As others have said Its something that each of us on here have to decide what to to do and when. Life sucks at the moment however a friend, whose husband passed around ten years ago, adivised me ( care of Call the Midwife apparently) start living your life until you finally feel alive again - and also take baby steps but do whatever you need to when it feels right for you.