His Things


His clothes are slung along the upstairs railing. His clean laundry is stacked waiting to be put away. The fancy shaving kit that he treated himself to sits on the bathroom counter. I cannot bring myself to move any of it.

The house is pretty much exactly as he left it. The day after he died, my brother came over and helped me tidy up. We threw away medicines, and the medical supply company retrieved the hospital bed and the few other items we borrowed. Dave’s sister and her lovely husband picked up the recliner that I couldn’t bear to keep since Dave spent most of his time during those last days in it. But everything else remains the same.

His wallet and watch are still in my purse from when they were handed over to me in the ER. His lanyard and work ID hang from the passenger seat in his car. His book is next to his side of the bed. I am not sure when the right time will be to move things. It just doesn’t feel like it is here yet.

I set an arbitrary goal for myself to go in and clean out his office at school by the end of the month. Last week I emailed his assistant to let her know that the kids and I would be in on the 31st. We will see how that goes.

To me, these things feel like the last physical contact that I have with him. I find having them around comforting.  I can’t imagine letting them go.



14 thoughts on “His Things

  1. I don’t know if it ever feels right. There is a finality to that process. I believe that you can do it when you feel ready and no one can predict when that will be. Maybe the school can take care of his office for you to go through later. It just seems so raw and torturous right now. Do what feels right for you and your kids and don’t worry about anyone else’s rxpectations.

    Love and prayers

  2. Robyn I agree Elke’s post. May be the school can help you with this final chapter. I would take your time on the other stuff though. Each person deals with all this in their own way. Make sure each of the kids has some thing that is very special of Dave’s to keep. No matter how small or large it might be. I kept my dad’s dog tags from when he was in the service. Sounds silly but that was all I needed of his.

    • i love that. thanks for sharing. i have talked to the kids about what they might like of his when the time is right. parker would like his hockey jersey that matches hers that she will hang up in her room. grant will eventually get dave’s watch when i can pry it out of my purse. sam is thinking some of the art work that he had in his office. so they are thinking about it which is good. they also know that their mom isn’t quite ready yet. : )

  3. My 10 year old little boy died, unexpededly in his bed on a Friday morning when he was in the 4th grade. That was 5 years ago. He loved sports, loved to read and loved video games. The book that he was reading the last time I tucked him in, is still on his bed, as are his baseball glove, ball & cleats that he used that same night at his baseball practice. I don’t know as if I will ever move them. At this point, I just can’t. There are no rules or guidelines to follow for those of us on this horrible road. I am keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  4. Robyn — Sue’s reply would be similar to what I would say. She has a grasp on the feelings we share when we have what she called “this horrible road”. I still have Melissa’s toothbrush she kept at my house in the guest bathroom and the last time Lora Grace (my granddaughter) was down she looked at me and said she wanted to use “the pink toothbrush” to brush her teeth. I wouldn’t take a million dollars for that moment. You do what is best for you and if you don’t want to get rid of something, then don’t! Hugs….

  5. Do it in your own time Robyn, in your own way. My step mother keeps an entire room virtually untouched (because she can and it makes her feel good), and my mother has just a drawer of stuff from her man of 25 years. There are no rules!

  6. When my MIL died almost four years ago — she’d lived with us the 2-3 months of her life, while ill — it took me 6-8 months to be able to face her clothing and personal items. (My husband mainly dealt with her paperwork.) As I was going through the clothes, finally, my then eight year old daughter — who’d been very close to her grandmother — asked to keep a particular blouse that she especially liked not just because looking at it reminded her of her grandma, but also because it still carried Grandma’s own unique fragrance. I’m not sure why this surprised me because my daughter has always been sensitive to smells. But it was a very touching gesture of remembrance.

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