You’ll find that most widows have a dedicated space for the remaining belongings of their dead spouse.
For me, it’s a drawer in my dresser filled with a few of Sean’s favorite graphic tee’s, a pair of underwear and socks, a Zip-lock bag of assorted patches for his uniform, a notebook where he jotted down ideas for the novel he was writing and the watch, cufflinks, tie clip and engraved pocket watch I’d given to him as gifts over the past six and a half years.
I don’t open the drawer, it’s just comforting to know it’s there should I decide to have a mental breakdown one day.
The day after Sean died was Christmas Eve and shortly after I had decided what to do with my husband’s organs, my parents arrived to help me pick up the pieces of my shattered heart and home and it was time for me to decide what to do with the rest of Sean’s belongings.
Over the next few days I would meticulously go through Sean’s closest and drawers deciding what to keep, give to friends, donate or discard; A Batman shirt and uniform patches for his best friend, the tattered leather jacket he wore throughout highschool for his mother…and then trash bag after trash bag I watched the contents of our life together be consolidated into a single drawer. I loaded up my car and drove to the nearest Good Will. The man who took my five bags asked me if I was doing some “after Christmas purging” and thanked me for the donation.
While some hold onto their loved ones things for months, years or even decades- once I moved out of our apartment and back to my home state I was glad to have gotten rid of the majority of Sean’s things so quickly.
All that remains is stuffed in the back of the drawer, and my heart.