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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist and RN
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  35 years experience counseling children and families
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I LOST MY HUSBAND 3 YEARS AGO. HAVING A VERY HARD TIME

Customer Question

I LOST MY HUSBAND 3 YEARS AGO. I AM STILL HAVING A VERY HARD TIME LIVEING ALONE. i HAD NEVER LIVED ALONE. wE WERE MARRIED FOR 35 YEARS, AND I STILL HAVE ALL HIS CLOTHES, I JUST CAN'T SEEM TO PACK. THEM. EVERYTIME I OPEN HIS CLOSET IT MAKES ME CRY. MY CHILDREN ARE AFTER ME TO START PACKING HIS THINGS. I KNOW IT'S TIME. WHAT DO I DO? DIANE AT ***@******.***
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Bonnie replied 6 years ago.
The grieving process is different for everyone. No one else should have expectations for you about when and how you pack his things away. This does not mean you are grieving abnormally. Abnormal would be if you are still paralyzed with grief, can't get up, can't go out, can't do everyday normal functioning. If this is the case, then, you should see a therapist. If not, you will know when it is time to pack his things. I know that the smell of those clothes bring back warm memories. It is good to cry and grieve the loss of him but you still have the memories.

When you are ready, perhaps you will think of a way that keeps his memory alive. Give these things to close friends and relatives. Keep a few dear things for yourself (for the smells). Create a memory box that you can give th children later with personal items (favorite watch, cap, etc). Girls love to wear their father's flannel shirts, for instance. I still wear my father's bath robe (He died in 1991!!)

Talk to other woman who have lost a spouse and see what they did. I think you'll find you are very normal.

Thank you for asking this question here and I hope this has helped in some small way.