Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Myra's Closet

Yesterday I featured a link about decluttering. That's always a loaded topic. Some want a clean sweep, others can't bear to part with a thing. Quirky things of our husband's --his shoes, his toothbrush, a pillowcase --become attachments that drive efficient, non-understanding relatives crazy! Personally, I think that's good for 'em.

Here's my friend Myra's experience about cleaning out the closet...

After my husband died, my mom came to stay for a couple of weeks. She is compulsive about organization and cleaning. At the time, my father was still living and she insisted on helping me clean out the closet. Thinking to myself that she must be right, we literally dove into the closet within a couple of days of the funeral. Most of the items went to Goodwill and the rest into the trash. My daughters were horrified that I could "get rid of" their dad so easily. Months later I caught myself wishing that I had kept just a couple of things - one of which was his favorite pair of worn out grey sweatpants. I just wanted to touch something that he touched, to smell something with his scent still on it. Like with all decisions after a loved ones death, I would strongly recommend not acting in haste. Wait a couple weeks or months if you prefer. Give yourself time to make any big decisions. You won't regret waiting a little while. One evening not long after the funeral when you are alone, you may want to walk into that closet and just touch and smell your loved one in the only way you can.

What about you? What de-cluttering challenges do you face?


  1. I cleaned out all the clothes within a few days and have not regretted that decision. I did keep other things which were special for various reasons,so I don't feel like I got rid of all that was Jake's.Most of all I have my precious memories and many of those are also recorded in the many pictures he has taken.These are what bring a tear now and then,reliving those happy times.

  2. My husband kept everything. I waited until I knew I was ready and attacked his closet alone. Sacred ground for sure. I went through things lovingly and had special memory time. I piled up the bags of clothing and shoes for removal the next day in the living room. I entered my feelings in my journal. I laughed to myself because I finally disposed of the frequently resoled much loved loafers that had fresh holes in them. Yes he is really gone because I would have been severely chastised for disposing of such good stuff. I decided to enjoy the event of passage. One thing I still will not part with is his favorites aftershave. Inhaling that just gives me sweet memories of a man who loved me with everything he had. Oh my man I love him so.

  3. My de-cluttering challenges centered more around my husband's pack-rat tendencies. Part of me was desperate to get the basement cleaned out, while every inch had his stamp upon it.

    So many times, I'd turn expecting to hear him say, "don't get rid of that. We made need it someday." It was an eerie feeling.


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