Where to begin...

On the 21st March I lost my partner and best friend of 20 years. We were finally due to get married on 1st May.

He died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 42. There had been no illness or warning. I was at work and returned home to find paramedics waiting for me, at that point he had already gone.

Since his death I’ve had my 40th birthday (not the celebration we’d planned!), his birthday at the end of April and I had to cancel our wedding set for the 1st May.

I feel so lost I don’t know where to begin. My family and friends have been amazing but whenever I’m with someone I still feel alone and like I want to be elsewhere. I’m returning to work in a couple of weeks and hope this will help add some structure back to my day.

However, I would like some advice. I’m unsure what to do about his clothes and other items. Whenever I start to look though them I get upset so I’ve left everything as he did. It feels like sorting though them or giving them away is like removing him from my life and our home. Daft I know!

I’d appreciate any advice the community has with things such as this and how you coped. Because it was so sudden it doesn’t quite feel real yet.

Thank you,


Hi Shaun, I’m so sorry and saddened to read of your recent heartbreak. I’ll get straight to the point of answering your question. My amazing husband died (I think it’s 14 weeks ago today), I think, because although I have an idea that timescale is correct, I don’t count the days, weeks or months. It doesn’t serve any purpose to me and that’s my only reasoning. I miss him desperately every moment, and I love him even more than that, regardless of the numbers on the calendar.

I have removed very little of his personal things, ie tools, clothes, shoes, etc etc etc. I haven’t even thought about it if I’m honest. Maybe I will at some point, maybe I won’t. I don’t know the answer and I don’t think there is a right or wrong way in dealing with these sorts of things. Just as there isn’t a right or wrong way in living with the grief. We all must do what we all must do. I certainly wouldn’t worry about it. The fact that you are asking the question tells me you’re not ready to remove his ‘things’ as I suspect you would have just done it if you were. Maybe one day you will be ready, maybe you won’t. It doesn’t really matter Shaun which of those you choose. Do what is the best for you in every area, on a daily basis. There isn’t a rule book. If there was I wouldn’t have a copy of it anyway, I never did abide by many rules and you shouldn’t either. Go with your gut. It’s the best answer you’ll ever get to any question :). Sending love to you x

Dear B,

Thank you for your kind message. I’m sorry to hear about your wife.

Shaun x

Thank you so much for your message and I’m sorry to hear of your loss.

I seem to be getting consistent advice so I think you’re all right and I am doing too much too quickly. I need to leave it a while and see how I feel.

I’ve already put a few things of his aside, things he’d worn that still smell like him. Sometimes I smell them and imagine he was still with me.

Again, thank you for the advice x

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Dear Shaun

I lost my husband just over two weeks ago - like you I returned home from work and he had already gone too. They said a couple of hours ago at least - I loved him so much I cannot believe I didn’t feel anything. The shock is terrible. I had been with Gary since he was 20 - so 40 years. I am so sorry you did not manage to marry your partner - I only married mine after 37 years - our love did not need that bit of paper !
I miss him terribly and I am lost too -like so many on here. I feel the pressure to go back to work - but it is way too soon - they will just have to do without me! But I do need the structure it offers - so will go back - but when I am ready.

I too have thought about what to do with some of his things - and feel wrong getting rid of anything yet. I did try - I called the Salvation Army about donating his coats to the homeless - but was told they did not take them there and to put them in a dump bin - I am sorry but I found that upsetting… So I will look elsewhere to take them so they can be used by someone that needs them. His music room though I think will stay as it is for a very long time. We have the funeral next week - and I am dreading it because that is so final. I cannot imagine the future yet - I know eventually I will just get on with it - but it is so very hard.
My heart goes out to you. Please continue to message people - I have found it the most helpful thing so far.
Trisha x

Dear Trisha,

Thank you so much for your message and I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Everyone is different but I found that a weight had been lifted after the funeral and again when I scattered his ashes. In my cases I felt I needed to scatter the ashes sooner rather than later but it’s down to each individual.

I know what you mean about not feeling something. That morning I kissed him goodbye as I did every morning. If I’d have know I’d have held on to him for as long as I could. I’d give anything to hold him now.

Sending you all my love and strength for the funeral.

Shaun x

…sending my heartfelt condolences…
I only lost my partner of 19 years 6 weeks ago today…
As for clothes, I hng on till the day of the funeral to see if any of his family wanted to go through them as they travelled from Bedfordshire to Dorset but they wanted-needed to get back home and miss the Heathrow busy Motorway so never got round to doing it so, as they didnt seem to boshered about my Richards clothes, ad he had many, I contacted a local dog charity who came round to collect it…I had packed up so many bags of his belongings yet strangley only one beige type militsry mac got me crying as you see, we had met at hotel car park between our two towns, when he came towards my car, he was wearing a similar mac to the mac I was wearing, both military style and in beige…My mind just keeps going back to this day, you see we had met through a well-known dating agency in our mid-late 50s, our meeting was just meant to be…


Correction to the above…" we met 19 years ago, I was late 40s Richard was early 50s…If Richard was here now he would be laughing over this, I always had a way of ageing him…


So sorry for your loss. I agree with everything said you will know when to sort his belongings out, I lost my husband of 46!years 5 months ago, some things I’ve sorted others are just left there for another day or week or month, on Mother’s Day my daughter took two of his favourite tops and had a memory cushion made from them, I cuddle up to it every nigh, sprayed with his aftershave. Just do whatever feels right for you, take care

Hi Shaun, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my lovely husband George nearly 6 months ago, and his clothes etc are still in his wardrobe. His slippers are by his chair. I even have his little bottle of glasses cleaner on the table beside me. I doubt I will ever manage to sort out his stuff. He has loads of books and I am going to catalogue those so his family can look through them and see if they want any. He loved learning languages and often bought the same book in 2 or 3 languages. You will still be in shock so do not rush anything. You need to do what you want and what feels right for you. I have George’s ashes with me all the time, they move round the house with me, but that is just because it feels right for me. I work full-time but have been very fortunate in that I am able to go into work in the morning and then I work from home in the afternoon. This is partly because I have a little dog who was used to George being at home with him all day, and also because by lunchtime I need to be back in my own surroundings and feel free to cry if I want to. I am sorry you did not get to be married, but you obviously had a very special relationship ad loved each other dearly. Take care xx

Hi Shaun

Thank you for your lovely message - I did not even kiss him goodbye - just a dont worry about getting - see you later. Just like most mornings I guess. Since he gave up work - he took delight in waving us off rather smugly - especially on frosty mornings. Although he always offered to get up and make me coffee. We just don’t realise do we that we will question our normal routine - You are right if I had known I would have kissed him goodbye and told him I loved him.
So sad for all of us on here. So much love too .
Take care xx

Thank you for your message Jackie. So sorry to hear about your loss x

Thank you x

Thank you for your message Debra x

Oh my god - horrific m. Shaun, I feel for you. My darling Craig died from a sudden heart attack on 20th March this year.
I’m a member of Widowed and Young (without children). They’re a great support and threads move at a pace that’s easier to keep up with. Hope you’re ok. So awful you’re going through this. Chell x

Thank you for your message Chell and I’m so sorry to hear about Craig…nothing can ever prepare us.

I’ll check out the feed you recommend. Shaun x

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