When is the time right to throw away dead peoples things ?
John. My partner died 12 weeks ago of Covid 19 when he was just 63. He was one of the first in my area to die in hospital of it and it was really freaky.
.When I got his things back - I laundered and ironed and then wondered what I was going to do with all his clothes and posessions. He left me his flat and as I have my own, need to think about selling it. But when is the correct time to do this ?
Some have told me I should wait - others told me to get a move on and do it now and so ease the grieving. But which is correct ? Tom:.
ANSWER FROM JOHN BELLAMY:
It all depends on how you feel within yourself AND DO NOT LISTEN TO OTHERS. Many have an attitude surrounding death and the dying and it scares them silly and they avoid all aspects out of fear. I have known people who NEVER cleared out their p[artners things and their bedroom has remained like a shrine for years after the fact, and they say they cannot bring themselves to do it.
This is avoidance and after such a long time, is just attention seeking.
I always advise that when YOU feel the time is right, with a friend and maybe a glass of wine and some music you both loved, go through his things one evening with boxes and labels ready, pens and sellotape ready - and don't forget a bottle of wine.. it helps.
When you do it, switch the phone off, put the cat out, ignore the door bell and jst get down to it.
Of course you will have smells and sounds and things you will find that will stop you in your tracks with a memory, but work through those memories and value them. Do not throw away the memories as well. Grieving is in stages and running away and selling too fast does not help.
Take your time. Stay put. You will know when the time is right and do not rush into anything.
Grief is different for each person and you will survive the loss.
When my partner Nick, of 20 years died unexpectedly my heart, the core of me died as well. He had many clothes, possessions, things. I did not know how to cope with my own life, let alone all these things. We lived in an affluent neighbourhood and it took me a while, 3 months, to realise that people existed who needed things, his clothes, the cash that his possessions were worth. They needed help.
My heart was aided by liberating myself of his things to help others. Along the way acquisitive people got what they wished for, but for the financial benefit of others. Namely our next town Homeless Shelter and a Women's Refuge. Divesting myself of his possessions hurt, but 17 years on I still love him and miss him , and my memory of him is just as vibrant as if he was with me now. Do not be scared, the precious time with him will remain with you. It took me 9 years to heal, I have found new love with a man I care for, totally different, a Pole, so different culture who accepts that I have a place, a huge place in my heart for a man called Nick that died.