Making the Home Yours

What does one do with all the stuff we had accumulated over the years? I found out, much to my amazement, that the children really didn’t want it either. Having a lot of things stuffed in boxes in the garage and closets creates negative energy. Eliminating the clutter freed me of always thinking about it and having it done made me feel better.

If it’s your husband’s stuff don’t do anything with it till some time has passed and your ready. But don’t hold on to all his stuff for years and years. There are some things that should be kept for memories but old tools, clothes and big boy toys should go unless you use them yourself.

Slowly and carefully you may want to make some small changes, but only when it feels right to you. Start with one room by looking around and deciding on what you want to keep and what should go. Move things around, take something away and add something new. Slowly, you can breathe some freshness into your home.

This might be a good time to get some uplifting and inspiring art for your walls. Surround yourself with objects from nature and plants with bright colors to liven up your home. It can be fun to take charge of some easy remodeling and painting. It will give you a boost to clean out a room and rebuild it with fresh paint, new artwork and less clutter.

It may take energy you don’t feel like you have, but just getting up and doing this as a project will make you feel like your accomplishing something. That feeling will help you move on to the next project and give you something positive to plan for.

Life isn’t about “things” – “things” don’t come to your funeral. For almost four years Donnie’s golf clubs and chain saw have been stored in our shed. It isn’t like I’m ever going to use either his clubs or the chain saw, but letting them go was hard.

You would think that it would get easier but it doesn’t. It feels as if a little bit of Donnie disappears every time I give away something of his. They are part of my past, but I need to move forward without them. My mind tells me that it’s time to let these things go, but my heart is still saddened.

17 Responses

  1. Bira Pittman

    Oh boy, I remember doing this two years ago. I was fortunate to have my kids help with this. First of all, I went through Geoff’s things. I kept a few of his vacation shirts that I loved and photos. After that, I had to be strong. I donated many of his clothes, suits, shoes to a homeless shelter, which made me feel good. It’s a hard road to take, but a necessary one. I truly wish I could be there to help. Thinking of you! Xoxo

  2. Janice B Berry

    There’s a place online that I sent 12 of my husband’s favorite T-shirts, a few really showed signs of wear. A women took those and made a quilt throw. They said to wash the shirts but I did not, when I received the throw I could still smell my Poppi. I gave all of my husbands clothes, shoes, hats, coats, belts to the Salvation Army. Our Son took a few things and I kept one shirt and 2 of his hats. Before one year was up, I sold our house with all the furniture, and moved to another state to be closer to family. I bought a manufactured home in a very clean mobile home park. I had it remodeled and bought all new appliances and all new furniture. Then I had the most fun decorating it kinda girly! My husband was a Marine and was a tough guy so we mostly had manly furniture. After moving in I painted my bathroom, apricot kisses! I have so many girly touches, and I have my husbands pictures in almost every room. However it is all new, fresh and mine! Living in our old house I felt afraid even though we lived in a very very low crime area. Now I feel safe and confident in myself. I have some of my husbands things stored up very high in my shed out back, clearly marked, Dad, and what is in the box. He would be in awe of me now…….

  3. Bira Pittman

    I also sold my house three months after Geoff died. I bought a townhouse. A new home, a new start.

  4. Karen pedersen

    It’s been almost four years that my Husband past. First time reaching out. His death very unexpected. 58. Foot infection. He had a fib on blood thinner gave him stronge antibiotic, he bleed out. No one watched his levels. 3 days later, gone. Lost my mom 6 months earlier. Had to sell the family home. Relocate my 86 yr old aunt. Never did this before, probably too much info.


  5. Mary Francis

    Hi Karen Sorry about the tragic loss of your husband at such a young age. A lot going on with also losing your Mom, selling the family home and relocating your Aunt. With all that it must have been hard to take the time to grieve and we must grieve to heal. Sometime when we are too busy our grief gets put on hold and buried deep inside of us. That only delays our healing because grief is natural and normal and needs to be felt.

    I hope you take time for yourself and let yourself feel your loss. It’s a painful journey but necessary to your future happiness. Don’t get in the habit of wearing the “I’m okay” mask for when someone asks how your doing. Find a close friend or family member or counselor to express your real feelings of angry, hurt and loneliness. Your not alone in this and so please keep reaching out for support. Take care of yourself, Mary Francis

  6. Lynda

    I am 55 and my husband Frank was only 53… he passed away completely unexpectedly last Monday… I am devastated, heartbroken, and so very sad… I have no idea of what to do with my self now that he is gone… we had a lifetime of plans that are now ? Thank you for any and all help, advice, stories

  7. Barbara

    Dear Lynda, My name is Barbara and I just lost my husband of 32 years last week. I am 53 years old and he had just recently turned 64. I too am devastated. I have a gaping hole in my heart and in my soul. We’ve been together like two peas in a pod for my entire adult life. I do not know how to live without him. I too have no idea what to do with myself. Please know that there is someone out there who is pretty much on the same boat as you. God bless.

  8. Marina Vega

    Hello Lynda. I can relate to your suffering. I lost my husband on Sept 2016, he was only 43. I know there is not comfort what so ever at this time, all i can assure you is that it will get better with time. Take it one day at a time and keep his memory alive, you will survive. Loosing your soulmate is the hardest thing on earth. Stay strong, we have a purpose in life believe it or not. God bless.

  9. Tammy Blevins

    I lost my husband unexpectedly one month ago. He had a heart attack at 57. He had nit been sick and never complained. He went to take a nap and I went to wake him up but he was gone. Besides feeling so very lost, afraid and sad, I feel short changed because I didn’t get to say goodbye. I am not sure if I will be able to continue to stay in my house. I can’t go into that room. I know Life goes on but mine feels like it has stopped for now.

  10. Mary Francis

    Dear Tammy. It’s normal to feel lost and it’s always hard when our husbands die suddenly at home. My husband died sitting at the table. It was always hard to walk into the area afterwards. I moved a few months later but I would recommend that you don’t do any major changes for at least a year. Grief takes time and it isn’t an easy journey. Keep following my blog and Facebook, newsletter and website resources. They are all free to offer you support. Take care of yourself. Mary Francis

  11. Laura Harbaugh

    I relate to all your stories the feelings of the lost future. We all have different situations but the heartache is the same. I’m scared of making the wrong decisions, I can’t afford to keep our home and have a lot of stuff to liquidate I don’t have a year or more before making changes. I live in a different state from my kids, but lots of support from friends.

  12. Mary Francis

    Fear is lessened by knowledge. Research what your home and belonging are worth so you can ensure that you get proper market value when you sell. If you are not sure where you want to live then rent in the area for a year first. Your smart to sell before you loss it so make sure your in control not the bank or everyone else. Listen to all their advise but most of all listen to your own inner wisdom. Read positive material and hold on to all those wonderful friends that you have for support. Take care of yourself. Mary Francis

  13. Carole

    I lost my husband if 42 years in Oct. 2015. I had been with him since I was 16. He was a lot older then me. 18 months prior to losing him my only sibling died of a rare aggressive cancer. She was only 61. My best friend was killed in car accident in 2012. It’s been one after the other. I have no family left now and only 2 close friends. I’m an introvert so it is going to be very difficult for me to get out and make a new life with new people. I am only 58 but I feel like my life is over, each day us just another day. I feel like I am existing not living. As far as getting rid of his clothes etc., they all still hang in the closet. I’d give them to charity but it kills me to think of someone else wearing his clothes.
    I wish you all the best.

  14. Mary Francis

    Dear Carole – I’m sorry about all the losses you have had in such a short period of time. I am 59 years old and can’t imagine “each day as just another day” but I’ve also been widowed almost 9 years and have had time to heal. Please don’t give up on life – it can be beautiful, especially if we are blessed enough to have our health. You are 58 now – stop to think about how fast 10 years go by. When your 68 do you still want to be where you are now? I don’t think so – it’s natural to grieve but it’s also natural to heal and want more from life then to just exist. You have so much to offer the world so please don’t retreat from it. Take care of yourself. Mary Francis

  15. M. Keenan

    My husband died at 47 of a heart attack in the hallway while home alone with out 7 year old on fathers day this past June. I am 41. I am still trying to figure out who I am without him. I wanted to escape the house as it was painful and lonely. I am still in the home and I am glad I have stayed. Had to keep some stability for our daughter. I am definitely having trouble going through his personal belongings and I still have not moved any of it. Its almost a year and the idea of going through his stuff is easier. Just needed time. Thank you fir this blog.

  16. Edie

    I lost my husband August , 2016 and I lost my Mom in April , 2014. I was very involved in their care and health. Now I feel lost, not sure what lies ahead. My life looks so very different than it did just a few years ago. My husband had quite a few health issues over the last 10 years but was doing better and then he passed away of a cardiac arrest in the middle of the night. I found him in the morning. I thought I was doing ok , even going out to a few functions but this last week, I just feel like the tears are always close to the surface. I am also 58 years old .

  17. Mary Francis

    Hi Edie – it hasn’t been a year so don’t be expecting too much healing yet. First our grieving has to have it’s time and it is normal to have good days and then bad days. In fact there will be some down right ugly days when it’s a chore to just get out of bed. That’s okay because it is natural for our grieving to take all our energy and leave us emotionally drained. Let the tears come and with them will come the healing. Take care of yourself, Mary Francis

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