Friday, January 28, 2011

Ten Bags Full

Whilst lying in bed this morning giving Boo some morning cuddles I decided today was the day.

Today I did something I have been putting off for quite some time. 8 and half months in fact. I went through all of Max's clothes and put them in bags to give to charity. I knew it would be tough and it was. Really tough. I first started going through my clothes, just so I could get momentum.  Boo had been quite well behaved whilst I went through my clothes but I kept getting interrupted I just needed to get into this and not stop. So my sister picked him up after lunch and he spent the rest of the day with her. Once I was done I tackled Max's things. The first drawer I opened was filled with his Summer clothes, his boardshorts were the first thing that I pulled out. I took a deep breath and held on to his boardies and cuddled them like a teddy bear and I sobbed. I smelt them to see if there was any hint of him, there wasn't. I continued to snuggle them and reminisced about the times he bought them and the memories we shared whilst he wore them. The beaches we swam at the holidays we went on. Then I pulled out his Bali Pants he loved his Bali Pants he lived in them at home, he bought 4 pairs when we went to Bali together.

It took all afternoon to go through his clothes, it was a slow process especially when I had to sniff and weep all over each item of clothing. I carefully thought about what I wanted to keep. I would hate to get rid of anything and then regretted it. I kept his collection of superhero T-Shirts which I hope to hand down to Boo someday. I kept his suits, he owned two. Max never owned a suit before he met me. Soon after we met we had a big formal wedding to go to and he wanted to wear a suit and tie. So he went out and bought one, then he lost a whole heap of weight and it no longer fit him so he bought another. He loved wearing it, he felt so special in it and he looked pretty sexy too. Shirts. He had so many shirts! He went from not owning not one shirt to having a wardrobe full of shirts. You see, when I met Max he was a Postman, he was a casual man who wore jeans and t-shirts and road a sexy Honda Shadow. After breaking numerous bones in a motorcycle accident he could no longer be a postman neither walking or on a motorcycle. So the company found him an office job. He had never had an office job before but he loved it. He soon discovered that he also loved getting dressed up for work which meant he also loved collecting work shirts. Which by the way I hated ironing with a passion. There was one shirt hanging in the wardrobe that still had it's sleeves rolled up. Max always rolled his shirt sleeves up. One day Boo was wearing a long sleeve t-shirt and for some reason I rolled his sleeves up and my mother commented that he looked just like his Dad. I loved that she noticed.

I kept his scarves, I will certainly be wearing them this winter. He had good taste in scarves. His beanies, all the wonderful beanies that our blogging friends either handmade or purchased and sent him which he wore through his chemo. There is no way I could get rid of them.

So it's  finally done. I feel I can breath a bit easier. It took a lot out me emotionally today but I am happy to have my bedroom back into some order. I now have 10 garbage bags filled with clothes siting in my dining room. Two are filled with my clothes and 8 filled with Max's. All going to good homes very soon.

I stood there in my dining room staring at these bags. Does this mean I am moving on? There were Max's material possessions in big plastic bags. I felt like I was getting rid of him. I cried. I had to reassure myself. I am not, these are merely his belongings and no longer needed. Some one else will make good use of them. I was doing it. I did it. I couldn't hold onto them forever could I? Perhaps I could.

The next thing to tackle is Max's personal belongs which is cluttering the home office. His computer desk is now buried. I think this may be even more challenging because it is just that, personal. To see Max's handwriting, to see his drawings and doodles etc. I'll do it. When I am ready.


Bea said...

What a day.

Well done for getting through it.

The way I see it is, you are not getting rid of Max, but you are setting his things free so they can "live" a new and useful life elsewhere. Which is what you concluded, I know. The drawings etc will be hard, but I'm sure one day you'll wake up ready, just like you did today.

I am in awe of your efforts today. Well done.


HubeiMama said...

Oh, Vee. Good on you for attacking what you knew would be a really tough job. I hope that you were able to get some bittersweet pleasure from remembering Max as you sorted through his clothes.

Miss Ruby said...

I find this post interesting for many reasons but the main is that it's taken you 8.5 months to do this - pack his clothes away.

It took my Mum mere days to do the same to my beloved Dad's things. It's not she didn't love him, nor wanted his stuff just gone - it was just that that was the right time for her to do it.

I struggled with her doing it ALOT, it didn't feel right TO ME and if I was in your position I'm not sure I would even be able to do it 8.5 months down the track but this just rams home the fact that we all react and deal with grief and all things surrounding it very differently. There is no right or wrong way - everything must be done to a time scale WE feel is right for US.

I can only imagine how hard today would have been for you Vee.


p.s. I never knew that Max used to ride - the Guv has two bikes, one of which is a vtx1800 Honda cruiser - I LOVE that bike, sexy as hell.

serenity said...

Oh sweetie. Have no words, just virtual hugs for you.


Lollipop Goldstein said...

Oh hon, that must have been impossibly hard. You're not getting rid of his things; you are doing for Max what he can no longer do, which is reach out to others and help. These clothes will keep someone else warm, will build memories for someone else, and in that way, Max still floats through this world, as he does in so many other ways.

DaisyGal said...

I am always in awe of how strong you are. I like to think that little by little you are just dealing with your grief and in the meantime giving something of Max to someone who it will keep safe and clothed.

You can't know how much I respect everything about you.

Pundelina said...

Vee I am all teary. What a hard horrid task for you - so very painful. I am a smeller of favourite things/people so I completely understand the sniffing and remembering, they go hand in hand.

Love and hugs.

Lut C. said...

I can only imagine how hard this must have been for you. But sooner or later it had to be done.
Perhaps you could see it as a way of decluttering your memory of Max, keeping what was essential.

Anonymous said...

What a day it must have been for you are such a strong woman.

Sending a huge cyber hug your way xoxo

maytey said...

I'm so impressed, what a lot to get through. So good that you're doing what you can cope with, one step at a time. That way you can give each thing the proper attention that you want to be able to give it. Well done Vee, big hugs. xxx

lparsons15 said...

I can't possibly fathom how hard that must have been for you. Good for you for making it through. Take Care

Gil said...

This must have been so hard for you to do sweetie. But first and foremost, I'm glad you did it in your own due time. Anything else would have been excruciatingly difficult and you would have regrets. Sending much love; and you'll know when the time is right to do the office. *hugs*

foxy said...

Teary from across the oceans.
You are so strong Vee.

Anonymous said...

You are amazing Vee, that must have been so hard for you. Max will always be in your heart and memories and no one can take that away. Its beautiful to keep the special things that you can honour and I think its amazing that you had the courage to sort through this clothes and donate them to charity. When we let go it allows new energy and light to come in - peace, love and healing. Thank you for sharing this with us. I also love that you are traveling to Phuket with Boo. Good on you (((Hugs)))


MrsSpock said...

Will be sending a link to this post to a friend who will be facing this same problem very soon. When do you give away all of your husband's stuff? Such a hard thing to do.

ecb said...

I love that little story of rolling up Boo's sleeves and your mum saying he's just like his Daddy. How precious. What a difficult task you have just completed. You are so brave.

Lifeslurper said...


You are a wonderful, wonderful woman!

I love how you prepared yourself for the task by thinning out Boo's and your own clothing.

Taking your time sounds like a fair approach.

Boo and yourself have kept the most important pieces. Max's clothes will get second homes - plus they will help raise much needed funds for the community. I see that as a really lovely gesture made on Max's behalf.

I adore hearing more biographical details of Max and love the way you express them. Please tell us more about Max - if you want to.

LS x