Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Can't Make Up My Mind .... Part 2

This is Jim with Son #1 and Son #2 (Son #3 was 2 years down the road):

Last week I wrote about my sons and the likeness each one has of Jim. I mentioned that I have let the boys go through Jim's clothes.
Well, I've decided that I can't make up my mind about that, either.

I want Jim's clothes to do more than just sit in a closet. I think.
I want the boys to be able to have something of their dad's and to be able to wear some of his clothes. I think.
I like seeing the boys wearing Jim's clothes and bringing back memories of him. I think.

Sometimes I like these things.
Sometimes .... not so much.

Sometimes I feel angry that he's not here to wear them.
Sometimes I feel resentful that his clothes can be worn so easily.
Sometimes I feel like taking every item back and boxing them all up securely.

But not all of the time.

I miss him.
I miss him wearing these items and this not being an issue.
I miss being a mom who never had to think about things like this.
I miss our life "before".

And so I can't make up my mind.
Do I want the boys to take his clothes or not?
At the end of the day, when all is said and done .... I guess I would have to say, "Yes. Mostly."
I don't want Jim's clothes to just lie around collecting dust.
I do want the boys to have things of their Dad's that mean something to them.

And I do want the memories of Jim wearing those clothes. I do want to remember my "before" life and I want to cherish those memories. If the clothes just sit in a box then they can't bring back those warm memories.

And so I have to make up my mind. Again.
And decide I'm going to be OK with this.
Even on those days when I am not.
Especially on those days when I am not.

Do you ever have days like that?
Or am I totally crazy?
I don't know.
I can't make up my mind.



  1. Grief and pain seem to have a way of making each day unsteady. The wind blows fiercely from one direction, you set your feet to brace yourself for its onslaught, only to have discovered that it is now howling from an unexpected quadrant. It is difficult to know exactly which decision is to be made or direction is be taken in your journey.

  2. Sure, you're crazy, Janine! ;o) (Just kidding, btw...or else it's just one crazy calling out "come join me!" to another fellow crazy. ;o))

    I had similar feelings about Charley's clothes. I dealt with them pretty early on--in the first 3-6 months or so. And I could NOT stand the thought of his dad or his sister's husband wearing his clothes. Just the mere idea of it or mental image of them wearing MY husband's clothes was enough to set off a furor in my head. I'd rather them go to Goodwill than see them on them when he was dead and could no longer wear them.

    I kept anything I had any sort of reaction to, even if I didn't necessarily know if I wanted to keep it, just in case I ever wished I hadn't disposed of it so quickly. Some I kept for me, just to know I still had the most important ones to me, and other things--like t-shirts--I kept for Anna someday. And I kept shoes. I don't really know why I did. They're all still in a big plastic tote in the garage. But I did give some clothes to my BIL (my sister's hubby), who was good friends with Charley and who continued to talk to me about his grief for Charley. And it wasn't ever really painful to see him in them, I don't think. Anymore, I get a weird jolt when I see something and I realize it looks oddly familiar, and then a second or two later I realize why, that it was Charley's. And it's kind of nice then, getting to see an 'old friend' again and get that quick, warm memory.

    Often times it's the thinking about it that's worse than actually doing it, like when I got rid of Charley's bike stuff or the bike he died on. Clothing can be a kind of weird one, but for me, it hasn't been too painful seeing it on someone I cared about...but it's all relative. There's no rush; you can always give your sons the clothes later, and perhaps they might mean a bit more to them as they get older or more time passes.