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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Bob, I am learning that...the right time is when you are ready, not when others say it should be. I'm still not there yet although I did move his things to make more room (which was tough enough).

I am so sorry you are having to deal with such insensitive people. People just do not think...or perhaps do not care?!

I did have someone suggesting I should give this or that to this one or that one within just a short time of my husband my haste I said ok but later was counseled not to get rid of anything or make any major decision before a year had passed so I did not follow through on giving away his things and the person did not bring it up again.  I believe they were trying to be helpful but didn't realize how your mind cannot think straight so they shouldn't be pushing a bereaved person to make decisions like that.

That's good that you stood up to them and let them know you were not ready for that.

bob santoro said:

Dee, it has been almost 8 months since my wife passed and I haven't given any of her clothes or personal items away. I did the same thing Cynthia did, I put her clothes away in the closet and her dresser. I didnt feel bad doing that at all. Since she was dealing with cancer, she had her medicines in the bedroom. I did bag those up. I don't know that there is a right time to do this. I think it has to be when we're ready to do that. As for denial.....  that could only be said by someone who hasn't lost a spouse. Those of us who have lost a spouse, we know its just part of the grieving and eventually letting go process. Don't force yourself there if you're not ready.

My problem is dealing with family and some of her friends who want to sort through her clothes. These people were asking me this right after the funeral. I dont mean picking something out for sentimental reasons, either. I'm talking about coming here and going thru her closet picking out things. They claim that my wife told them they could do this. Funny thing, if they really knew Deb, they would know that eventually she would want them donated. Some people could be cold. I'm not ready for that yet and I told them so.  Has anyone had to deal with this?

I agree, taking it one small step at a time is much better for those who have lost a spouse. I remember when my  mom died, my father donated all her clothes within two weeks of passing. I could never (and still don't) understand how or why he did that. They were together 40 years and with a very good marriage.

How are you making out otherwise? Have you gone to any bereavement sessions?  My sister keeps pushing me to go that route, but everything is during the day. I thought about it though. Listening and sharing may be good for me.

HI Staci, baby steps is a good thing as long as we are moving in the right direction. You mentioned about "accepting the new realities".  In my own healing over the loss of my wife, I've come to the conclusion that I cannot change what has happened and I cannot bring her back. I can either accept and adapt or I can resist. Resisting can only stop the healing. I feel that Debbie is with me spiritually. Knowing her, she would not want me to be sad and she would want me to heal and move on with my life. She'll be there to look out for me. Staci, it would be the same if the situation were reversed and I was the one who passed. I would want her to be happy and live her life. So, those baby steps that you're taking may be bigger then you thought.
staci roberts nastri said:

Please don't judge your healing in association within a time frame, firstly. Secondly, I just joined this group due to the fact that July 11th will be a year since my husband's sudden death due to cardiac issues that we did not know of.

He was just 33 years old and now I'm a single parent to a 5 and 7 year old.

I will mention that the only progress I have made are,. at best, baby steps. I think we all need time to heal and the patience to accept our new realities without our spouses.


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