Jan 27

His Stuff

J was in the hospital for a year. At some point, he stopped wearing even pjs and tshirts and was stuck in hospital gowns. So since we were selling the house and moving, we got a head start on packing by putting all his clothes in suitcases a good month before we moved.

Once we got here, we didn’t unpack his things. The thinking was ‘let him do it when he comes home’. I would tell the girls stuff like ‘I don’t know if he will want his pants on the right or on the left, I’m not sure if he wants his shirts or his suits on this rack’. It felt like it was giving everyone something to look forward to.

So his suitcases have been sitting there since September, in the closet, waiting.

Today I took the first step. I opened them all. We got rid of the underwear and socks because there is no sentimental attachment to any of that*. Same thing with old/worn shoes. Everything else got folded properly into those giant Ziplock bags and stacked under the bed (lucky thing the bed is one of those lifty-things with a storage space). The girls each grabbed a few t-shirts they liked and a couple of his hoodies. For now, everything else will stay in storage. I’m not ready to decide what stays and what goes, that is for another time. But I also need to stop staring at these boxes, a daily reminder of what didn’t come to be.

*actually, he had a lot of cool socks so we only got rid of all the sports socks. I’m wearing his killer orange socks today and I know the girls will get a kick out of doing something with the rest of the colorful ones.


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  1. Anna in Turin

    Wow V, that was a big step! Hugs girls

  2. Meg

    I am without anything helpful to say. That is a huge step. Good for you.

  3. Erin

    I was introduced to your blog last summer and read it from beginning to end, admiring your humour and strength when life has dealt you some pretty shitty hands. I hadn’t been on the site in quite a while but you entered my mind today, so I thought I’d check for new posts. I am so sorry to read about your husband. I have no advice or comforting words. I’m just sorry for you and your girls and I hope you all have nothing but better things in your lives for a long, long time to come. You certainly deserve it. Reading this post, about going through his things, I did think about something, maybe something you’ve also thought of, since I know you’re creative. In 2010, my parents’ best friends’ adult son died. He was severely disabled from birth and they had been his caretakers his entire life. Needless to say, it left an enormous void for them. Their daughter was helping to go through his things and was supposed to donate a bunch of his clothes. Instead, she saved a lot of his shirts and pjs and had them made into a quilt for their mom. Perhaps this is something you and your girls would like to do with J’s clothes? Just a thought. Anyway, I’m a perfect stranger to you and your family but am sending you positive vibes for healing. Take care.

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  5. Vanessa

    My husband died in 2006, and I still vividly remember the day I finally got rid of all his socks. It’s amazing how those little things stick with you.

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