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Old 05-11-2016, 12:11 AM
 
Location: 900 miles from my home in 80814
4,669 posts, read 6,739,165 times
Reputation: 7078

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Hoot N Annie, I don't know where on the BI you are, but there are lots of Reuse -- County of Hawai'i centers you might call. There are places in West Hawai'i and East Hawai'i. I'm not too familiar with the BI the way I am with Oahu and Maui, but they're worth a call when you're ready.

My husband died 6 1/2 years ago, suddenly and unexpectedly, eight days before his 60th birthday. I still wear my wedding rings, and I kept several of his shirts and his favorite jacket and slacks. They still hang in our closet. His bathrobe is still on the back of the bathroom door, and his wallet, watch, rings and glasses are just as they were in his nightstand drawer. I didn't take anything out of his wallet, and it's comforting at times to go through it. I have a picture of him in each room, and mementos discreetly displayed. Before I donated his computer, I downloaded all his files, pictures, and emails and printed them all out. I love re-reading our emails to each other.... He didn't have a cell phone that got internet (an old flip phone), so I took it to the Verizon store and they took out the SIM card and recycled it.

Don't make any quick decisions on personal things. You might wish to hurry and donate them, but once they're gone, they're gone. I held on to things for a year or more and then slowly began to give away things as I felt I could. I do have "donor's remorse" on a few things, and I miss them, but me a few years to finally be okay with donating them. If you're not sure what to do with your wife's things, it's not going to hurt anything to hold on to them until you're ready to part with them. But, if you're ready, check out the link below and see if any of the Reuse-County Hawai'i places will work for your needs.

Take care of yourself. I'm glad the administrative part is going well. That part took me two plus years to settle, and I had to keep all my husband's work files (he was an attorney in private practice), his email and cell phone active for five years. I finally took over his cell so I could have his greeting. That way I can call the phone and hear his voice whenever I need to. Otherwise, I have lots of VHS tapes and the VCR so I can watch home movies and see and hear him. I still miss him deeply.

Reuse - County of Hawai?i Department of Environmental Management
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,847 posts, read 51,301,408 times
Reputation: 27668
G Grasshopper gave wonderful advice. I am struggling with similar issues and an amazing amount of material, including client files that have to be burned (she was a psychotherapist), items related to a previous marriage and children, a library's worth of books, and the usual personal effects. I had initially thought I could go through and sort and make trips to the children, but I had no idea of the time and effort involved. As importantly, I've come to recognize that for kids the impression of a parent is so much different than that of a spouse that what might seem of value is not, and what might seem like nothing is important.

I had a much loved aunt who would regularly help others go through the effects of loved ones. Her strong advice was to minimize personal belongings as you aged as a courtesy to your loved ones. When she died, her affairs were in perfect order and there was a minimal amount of personal effects.

Hoot, please be kind and compassionate to yourself in processing the material items and remember that none of us get to take any of it with us, so it is ephemeral anyway.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:40 AM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,571 posts, read 17,949,017 times
Reputation: 5919
I replied here on what to do with her stuff now I am starting to think on what to do with my stuff since I'm pushing real hard on 85.

Adult kids that I have not heard from for years and one granddaughter that I did for a while has not returned any E-Mail and a returned Great Grandaughters gift returned by the PO (unable to forward) makes me wonder.

Filled a box with some stuff that I had (been selling on the Internet) to mail at the PO to a previous buyer otherwise most things will end in the trash very soon. He at least will get some usage even as a E-Mail stranger.

Just lamenting on what life of cards has been dealt. Things that we may treasure today will maybe be an other persons junk.

I sent a box of things to a past buyer for FREE and he was thrilled at my being Physic on a certain needed item.

Hope this has some positive thinking on what needs to be discarded or passed on......never know for sure.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:42 AM
 
527 posts, read 1,016,607 times
Reputation: 679
My wife of 34 years passed away suddenly 2 years ago.

Put jewelry away for our daughter, in zip lock bags
threw out toiletries and other her personal bathroom stuff, after about 1-2 months
Put her wedding/engagement rings away
Took her off cell phone contract (tough) and put her phone in drawer

After about 1 year, I was able to go thru her dresser drawers and throw out undergarments, socks etc
Then at about 14 months, started with clothes in closet, shoes, but was emotional and kept taking out more until I couldn't do it anymore and stopped, then about 1 month later, start again, took 3 sessions to get her closet empty

Kept asking myself with each piece, what good would it do to keep this, after 1 1/2 years, who else might want this.

I say, closet was empty but not really. Got to back of closet, way deep, and came to last thing, her wedding dress hanging
Stopped in my tracks, couldn't even touch it. it's still there, hanging
Even now, wondering what I can do with it,

still have her coats
still work in progress
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:05 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
4,294 posts, read 2,880,122 times
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I can offer a big hug, I know it is hard same for my mother the day grand ma passed. And even worst to see how grand pa struggling to cope with the loss. She was not ill she simply went to bed after the dinner. And she did not wake up. Left so peacefully. What grand pa did leave her stuff in her room. And he moved to the guest room with a single bed. He found that is his way to deal with loss. Be strong my thoughts and prayers on your way.
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert, AZ
2,838 posts, read 1,163,727 times
Reputation: 6056
Mahalo everyone for your kind words. What is odd that I don't remember having so much trouble with this stuff when my first wife died (15 years ago, from ALS). We had been married over 35 years. She had left instructions about what to do with her clothes, which were to be donated to a charity that helped women who were down on their luck find appropriate business apparel for interviews, etc. She loved her clothes, and I literally had to rent a Uhaul truck to take 9 or 10 wardrobe boxes to that shop. I quit counting shoes after 100 pair, and I think there were about 200 sweaters. Most jewelry went to our daughter-in-law. A few things (such as a pearl necklace) went to long time friends, and a few things I put in a large box and asked my son to keep.


But it was all easier. I suppose the fact that I'm almost 70 instead of 55 makes a difference physically, plus I was still working and was not the day-to-day primary care giver that I have been now. I dunno. But I do a little better every day. One thing for certain is that I can never ever go through this again, and I don't want to have anyone I love go through taking care of me.
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:44 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,544 posts, read 42,708,506 times
Reputation: 57194
I have not been in OPs position, but I have been through several medical close calls with my husband. After the crisis, I (we) have made every evidence of it disappear. Get rid of all the medical stuff.
I have thought of what I would do, and this is what I think. I would save some things that were close to my loved one which have his DNA on them, and/or smell like him, like his bathrobe, etc. I would place them in a box in a closet. Maybe I would keep them for years, and maybe I wouldn't. I would try to move on, knowing that those possessions were there, any time I needed to see them, or smell them.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
7,961 posts, read 6,710,786 times
Reputation: 10707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoot N Annie View Post
Mahalo everyone for your kind words. What is odd that I don't remember having so much trouble with this stuff when my first wife died (15 years ago, from ALS). We had been married over 35 years. She had left instructions about what to do with her clothes, which were to be donated to a charity that helped women who were down on their luck find appropriate business apparel for interviews, etc. She loved her clothes, and I literally had to rent a Uhaul truck to take 9 or 10 wardrobe boxes to that shop. I quit counting shoes after 100 pair, and I think there were about 200 sweaters. Most jewelry went to our daughter-in-law. A few things (such as a pearl necklace) went to long time friends, and a few things I put in a large box and asked my son to keep.


But it was all easier. I suppose the fact that I'm almost 70 instead of 55 makes a difference physically, plus I was still working and was not the day-to-day primary care giver that I have been now. I dunno. But I do a little better every day. One thing for certain is that I can never ever go through this again, and I don't want to have anyone I love go through taking care of me.
Hoot

I understand. Especially the hope that some down on her luck women will better herself with the donated clothing. That is what I wished for when I donated my wife's clothes. I smile when I think so.

I also understand the part about never going through this again.
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:03 PM
Status: "I'm late because I don't want to be here." (set 2 days ago)
 
986 posts, read 540,224 times
Reputation: 2035
Five weeks is nothing.
The best advise I was even given when I went through the same situation (death of someone very very close) is don.t rush with the cleaning process of the personal items. Take it slow. Get rid of dirty or soiled or broken or expiring items. Then take it slowly with everything else. Put things in plastic tubs and pack them away, but do not go on a tear getting rid of everything. You are in the grieving process and it will make you do funny things that you may regret later. I ended up keeping a lot of stuff for decades but getting rid of stuff I wish I had kept. Slow down, organize, but don.t rush. So sorry for your loss ;/
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:35 PM
 
8,218 posts, read 8,498,682 times
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For the physical objects, you might invite a group of her friends over and ask if they'd like someone as a memento. I did that with my mothers purses, gloves, scarves, etc., and people were very pleased.

Depending on where you like, there are some organizations that are specifically for desperate women, who would probably be grateful for the clothing.

And, my goodness, if you have a daughter, ask her if there's anything at all she might like.
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