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.