Friday, April 16, 2010

The Closet, the Dresser and Shoes

The Closet
After writing a number of positive posts and feeling better, I am afraid the next few are going to be sort of downers. I took off work on Thursday and Friday and started to go through Jen's closet and dresser. It was tough. I tried to prepare myself mentally, but it was still hard.

The hardest part was deciding what to keep for the girls. I think they will love wearing their Moms sweatshirts when they are teenagers so I kept them all. As for pants and jeans, I do not know much when it comes to women, but I do know that apparently for a woman to find the right pair of jeans it involves tons of brands, types and stores so I only kept one pair each.

Now, let us talk shoes for a minute... Jen had some serious shoes. I kept 22 pairs of nice dress shoes, boots and sandals; I figured the girls might want them. I threw out 24 pairs of shoes. Who has 46 pairs of shoes? I use to tease Jen about her shoes, but 46

I know this is very selfish but I kept on hoping I would find a note or a letter to me from Jen, but I did not. I say that it is selfish because from last week's Caring Place session I again realized how fortunate I was to have had some of those hard discussions between Jen and myself. The other folks in my group did not have that opportunity and for that reason, I do feel grateful. The feelings that the others in the group have from the not "knowing" weighs heavily on them.

I also feel fortunate knowing that when Jen passed, I was with her. I was holding her hand during her last breath. I kissed her cheek, brushed the hair away from her face one last time and held her. It sounds weird but I take comfort in that. None of the others in the group was with their loved one when they passed away. None of them has that sense of... closure...for lack of better words.

Her closet still has clothes in it...I am in no hurry to do anything else for a while. Every time I do something like this, I feel like a little more of her is slipping away into the past.


  1. I have a number of relatives in the funeral industry who would disagree with me, but I say even if it takes you a year or more to finish this whole process, that is fine. You have to do it in your own time.

    My 75-year old neighbor lost her high school sweetheart husband two summers ago. She still has not cleaned out his closet. Her (grown-up) kids get on her case, but I tell her she needs to do it when she is ready. Mostly I just try to be the one person who lets her grieve as long as she needs to. Compared to her, I think you are so far ahead of the game. But there is no race, of course.

  2. Bill,

    Wasn't sure if you girls were into teddy bears or not....but I have a friend who did something like this with their clothes:

    No opinion on this particular site - but maybe give you an idea...


Inside Bill's Head -- Previously Known as (Inside the Head of a Grieving Single Dad)

In August of 2009 my wife Jennifer passed away from an Anaplastic Astrocytoma Brain Tumor. She was only 38 years old. She left me and our two little girls Abbie and Allie to continue life’s journey.

I promised her that I would NOT become angry and bitter about what order to do that I am attempting to write to express my thoughts and feelings.

This site is a place where I can express my thoughts, feelings and rants...