For the past year and a half after my Dad passed away I avoided one major task: cleaning out his closet. It seems like the obvious thing to do soon after someone leaves behind their possessions but for some reason I just couldn't get myself to do it until now. I guess keeping all of his clothes made me feel like he was still around and would be coming back home any day, but unfortunately that's not the case.
The one questions I had for the longest time was 'When IS a good time to get rid of my Dad's things?'. I realized that it's really never the right time. Going through the process of putting a loved ones possessions in boxes will always be difficult, but eventually it needs to be done. In my mother's opinion it was better to get rid of everything sooner rather than later because in her mind, it was more difficult to be reminded of my Dad every time she walked by something of his. My mindset was a bit different. My Dad spend countless hours shopping for suits and his enormous collection of ties over the years. He took pride in always dressing well and having the perfect clothes for every occasion (a trait I didn't inherit because I basically live in sweatpants and over-sized t-shirts). So to me getting rid of his things meant a lot more than just emptying out some space in the house.
When I was constantly told by family and friends to clean out my Dad's closet, I first reacted with anger. I thought they didn't realize how difficult it would be. I felt as though I had gone through enough for one year and I deserved a break from this all. I knew if I did this before I was mentally prepared I would truly regret it and at this point I wanted to hold on to my Dad's memory as much as I possibly could.
This past weekend was when I finally realized that I was ready. I wanted to be completely alone so I waited for my mom to leave home and started to fill bag after bag with each piece of clothing my Dad had spend so much time to select and alter( keeping one or two pieces for memory). Before I knew it the closet had become as empty as it was when we first moved in to this house 11 years ago. As of now, those clothes are sitting in the trunk of my car. Soon enough, I'll build the courage to take them to a donation box. Rather than throwing them out, I know my Dad would want them to help someone in need.