It's been almost 9 months since my husband passed unexpectedly from a heart attack.  I thought I was doing so well and getting a handle on my grief but after doing some therapy work to overcome anxiety, it suddenly dawned on me what part of my problem has been. 

I kept having panic attacks every time I would start to go through my husband's things and the very thought of getting rid of anything that belonged to him would make it worse and raise my blood pressure.  I thought at first it was because I was associating getting rid of these things as getting rid of him.  But then as I began to work through the panic, it all of a sudden dawned on me that the real reason was that by getting rid of his things (down to even his toothbrush or deodorant), I had to admit that he was never coming back...something my mind has not wanted to accept. 

So, this is where I am at and what I am trying to deal with right now...along with trying to overcome panic attacks.   I'm frustrated with myself because I feel I should be long past this...perhaps it's normal?  I don't know.  But hopefully now that I've come to realize it, I'll be able to move beyond it.

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It has been 15 months that my husband has been gone. I still have all his stuff where is has always been. I havent changed anything but his clothes are all in the closet now. I put my things in his dresser.  I dont plan on moving then any time in the future.  I had a bad day yesterday, I went to the cemetery and sat and cried and cried. I miss him so much.  I guess I an still in denial, and if I am I guess I'll stay that way cause I 'm not ready to give up his things.


Try not to be so hard on yourself, OMG you lost your soul mate and I think you are just putting toooo much pressure on yourself.. Grief has no rules, no have to listen to your heart cuz really your head will give you a different answer day at a time and be kind to yourself  Hugs Julie

I talked to a man the other day. He lost his wife a couple of y years ago, and he told me he was going through the house and packing up her things. I could tell by the look on his voice that it was not an easy thing to do.
I was in a very different situation, so I didn't have to deal with it the same way.... I do have the last two shirts he wore, and I haven't washed them yet. They are packed in a box. I also have a coat that I gave him for Christmas that I tried to give away. It didn't fit, so it was returned to me at work. It still hangs at work where I put my coat.
The place where we lived went to his children, and after my renters moved, I moved back to my house. Instead of living 30 miles from work, I live three blocks. Dave has been gone for almost 14 months.

Cynthia, I can relate to all you're saying.  I was having a rough day the other day also when I wrote this. I hope you did not misunderstand what I was saying.  I'm not saying that a person is in denial just because they hold on to their spouse's clothes and things.  I have a clock he gave me, a plaque we picked up on a trip, and many other sentimental things that I will not part with.  And right now, I still haven't gotten rid of his clothes but I knew there was a deeper issue when simply getting rid of a rusty razor was even causing anxiety. I finally realized I, personally, was still in denial.

Julie, thank you for that encouragement!  I will try not to be so hard on myself. 

Maggie,  I'm sorry the kids took the house but glad you had another to move into. Being close to work is a plus but you must miss the house you lived in.  I also have certain things of my husband's that I will not get rid of either. 

Dee I guess I am in denial, my husband drove a  18 wheeler and lost his life when an 74 year old woman was  in his lane on a 2 lane road, he burned for 3 hours before they could get the truck put out.  So there are days that its like he went to work and hasn't come home. Sometimes that is the only way I can make it through.  No I didn't misunderstand, I just want you to know that I understand.  Don't be so hard on yourself. Hugs to you and everyone on this site.

Cynthia, I cannot even imagine. I am so sorry it is just so unfair how this life goes sometimes. Hugs my friend. I hope you can find peace knowing he is in heaven with no pain and is just as perfect as when he was physically here....Did the woman lose her license...

I'm so sorry, Cynthia! I can relate to pretending he's away at work just to make it through....that's kind of what I've been doing all these months. ((hugs))

She lost her life also.  It funny but they both did charity events for children.  She raised money for childrens cancer, and Gene raised money for The Childrens Hospital of Alabama. Still havent figured out why she was where she was, she is from Ill. I guess God wanted them to meet at that point and time. She didn't burn though. I dont think it would have been as hard to except but I couldn't see, touch, kiss or tell him good-bye. Thats what's so hard, I had just talked to him an hour before the accident. I told him and he told me " I Love You "  we never hung up the phone without saying that. Gene's father died when Gene was 13, he told me you never get over it, it never gets better, you just learn to deal with it.  So far I haven't been dealing so well.  Some day are ok and I might have 2 or 3 weeks of ok, then it hits againand all I can do is cry.  Hugs to you all.

This journey chosen for us definately hurts, sucks, anything sad you can imagine, god made em survive my child and now my husband.  the only reason I have done this is my daughter told me 2 years after kyle left mom I am still here so I have to carry on no matter what so...I am so sorry but he knows and he is still with you just not physically.

Cynthia, that is hard not being able to say good-bye.  I wasn't able to say good-bye either....he passed too quickly before either of us realized what was happening. 

It's understandable that you're not dealing with it very well...or at least so you may be dealing better than what you realize considering the trauma and shock you endured. My experience wasn't as traumatic as yours but still difficult....I posted a little of my story under Jane Favara's post "Shock." 

Julie, it's painful enough losing a spouse...I can't imagine the pain of losing a child also.  I know a widow who survived losing 2 sons and a husband...she inspires me how she continues to carry on.  It's only by God's strength.

Dee, you are so right there, and the fact that God allowed Kyle to come and cross his dad over had helped me more than you will ever know.  Hugs my friend

Dear Dee,

My husband died in 2009 and what you are experiencing is very natural and normal for someone going through grief.  Unfortunately grief cannot be rushed.  I thought after 2 weeks of crying and all that I would be able to move on with my life.  NOT!!  It has been 2 1/2 years since Douglas died and I still have "grief bursts" -- and I get no warning.  Grief is unrelenting and for those of us left behind it is something that we must go through.  Everyone is different and will go through this process at their own pace.  I will tell you that it does get easier every day to deal with the things you mention in your post.  I still have a lot of things that belonged to Douglas (clothes, watch, hair brush, etc) and when the time is right I will do what needs to be done.  There are several places that will make a quilt out of shirts or other clothing as a momento of your loved one.  I am going to do that so Douglas will always be with me.  Just before he died I had his coat dry cleaned and it is still in the plastic wrapper.  I can't and won't get rid of it!  His watch sits on my dresser to remind me of how "time" has a way of healing.  His hair brush sits next to mine -- a sense of security for me.  Each item of your husband's will have a special meaning to you -- maybe the same when he was alive.  Time is the key to healing from the tragedy all of us on this site have experienced.  I am thankful for this site.  It has allowed me to express feelings that I can't with friends or family because they have not been where we are -- yet!  You will find your "new normal" Dee, just give yourself time and love.  Don't rush the natural process we need to experience.  It is painful at times but it will make you stronger.  I will be thinking of you and sending extra love and guidance.  Be easy on yourself and take special and extra care of your needs.  All of us will get through this -- in our own time.





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