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It's just stuff


Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
Two years on from my wife's permanent move into a care home I have started tackling the task of sorting out and disposing of some of her clothes. She has been a size 8 or petite size for as long as I can remember. Good food matched with a good appetite and not much physical exercise (compared to the miles we used to walk) has meant that her weight has gone up from her usual 7 stone. She looks well and there seems to be no harm in it. I see no point in hanging onto clothes that don't match her lifestyle, are too complicated (buttons, zips, hook and eyes), don't fit and - in many cases - haven't been worn in years. I would rather buy her new items that she is able to wear with comfort.

I have read elsewhere in these Forums that some people find it hard to part with their partner's clothes, as if somehow they are parting with the person that they love (whilst still alive) or are being unfaithful to their memory. That isn't how it seems to me. I don't have any emotional investment in my wife's clothes, some of which I have never seen before. I would rather pass them on to a charity that might be able to make something from them. Many pairs of trousers and skirts have already gone but there's plenty more to do.

I am not closing the door on our life as a couple or denying how important those clothes once were to my wife. But realism tells me that "it's just stuff". The real emotional bond between us lies in my visits to see her and the memories that come back to me as I write her a weekly letter.


Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
N Ireland
Like your wife, my wife was always a size 8, until dementia changed things.

I haven't had any difficulty when disposing of old clothes - but always get an struggle when trying to persuade my wife into new clothes that fit! It seems to be a matter of 'once a size 8, always a size 8' with my wife!


Registered User
Dec 6, 2016
Porthcawl, South Wales
You've described it so well. I'm glad I read your post after having visited my husband and seeing him modelling someone else's clothes (again). You are right, our emotional bond as a couple will always be with us.


Registered User
May 30, 2017
Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
I completely agree with you @northumbrian_k .
Things , also those which belonged to someone I loved, don't mean much to me.
I adored my father who died in 1995. I still have an inner dialogue with him and he still " talks" to me, but after he died I kept only two things of his : the old blue pajamas he used to wear in the garden early in the morning when I was young and we spent our summer holidays in Sicily and the tie I made him buy when I was eight years old.


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
Thanks @northumbrian_k ,
Next Monday I will start a sort of " settling-in phase " in the care home I have chosen for my husband even though
I don't really know if this phase may be useful .

I do hope that things go well for you @margherita and that your husband settles in well.

I didn’t find it hard to give away either my mum’s clothes or Bill’s clothes after he died. I did however keep a headscarf and a top that belonged to my mum. I kept a PJ top of Bill’s and his dressing gown. I don’t think I could ever give away the dressing gown. I take the PJ top with me whenever I go on holiday (well - when I used to go on holidays!). I don’t wear it but it’s a comfort having it with me.

It’s funny how everyone is different in how they approach things. As they say up here though - we’re a Jock Tamson’s bairns! (We’re all the same under the skin/we’re all God’s children).