OCVCC – Day three

IMG-20130130-01513It is day 3 of OCVCC (Operation Clean-out Vic’s Clothing Cupboards.)  Today was unbearable. 

Day one I packed up Vic’s clothing I did not like.  That is the sexy stuff that showed far too much cleavage.  I was forever saying “Vic – Your boobs are showing!  Cover yourself!” or “Boob alert – the boys can see….”  I know I was stupid but in my mind’s eye I always saw that little girl who needed to be protected from the world and it was difficult to see the adult, sensual young woman…vicbaby

Day 2 was the “Fat clothes” day.  There was not too much of that although Vic was overweight from time to time.  The Addison’s cortisone treatment played absolute havoc with her weight.

Day 3 – today, was unbearable.  It was the clothes that she liked and wore that had to be packed.  As I was folding her little T-Shirts my tears dripped on the cotton.  I held her favourite clothing items against my face and tried to smell her on them.  I could see exactly how each item fitted her disease ravaged little body.  I could hear her say “Don’t I look fat?”

I cried when I packed four drawers of pyjamas.  There were dress-like nightgowns for after abdominal operations when nothing could touch her abdomen; three-quarter pants with T-shirts for good days; long pants with T-shirts for when she was cold and of course the stuff she never wore…the sexy stuff.  I picked up the silky stuff and I knew that they were worn seldom if ever.  We should be able to sell these quite easily in our second-hand Hospice shop…

The boys made up their memory boxes on Monday night.  I started with wonderful intentions…I too would have a small memory box.  I already have two large cardboard boxes plus my memory box filled with precious memories.   

As I wept into Vic’s clothes I decided that there is no rush.  I do not have to give the clothes to Hospice immediately.  I will keep it all in storage until I am ready to part with it. 

Never again will I see my precious Vic wearing any of it. 

Every handbag I picked up had been cleaned out properly with the exception of a tube of lipstick.  Every single handbag had lipstick in it!

Jon-Daniel has started moving into Vic’s room.  It is the 2nd largest bedroom in the house with the nicest bathroom.  Yesterday we moved two single beds in and put Vic’s bedroom furniture in storage.  Tomorrow we will move the lounge suite into storage.  The dining room suite has been sold and delivered today.

All Vic’s earthly possessions have been moved as if she has never existed.

The lounge will become a games room with a pool and table tennis tables.  The dining room we will convert into a dedicated study and computer games room.  We will furnish the rooms with contemporary furniture.

In my heart I know Vic would approve the changes.  She would HATE the fact that her furniture is in storage.  I feel like a grave digging weasel but I am complying with her final wishes.

My Vic was a little squirrel!  She accumulated STUFF.  Vic was a compulsive shopper.  In December, knowing that she was in the final stretch of her journey, Vic bought new clothes…  Some of it she never got to wear.  But it brought her joy buying it.

This weekend I will tackle the other cupboards.  The cupboards that contain all tax and warranty related documents going back to 2001…. All neatly filed in plastic sleeves… I will keep the boys school files that she so lovingly kept up to date.  Every drawing, school report, newsletter filed per boy by year…  When they leave home one day and have kids of their own (that they will moan at for not studying….) I will hand my great-grandchildren their dad’s reports.

There are tons of papers to dispose of!  There are boxes of educational toys and games from when the boys were toddlers; thousands of photos and piles of albums; ribbons from her childhood; diaries and journals; love letters from Vaughn, her first love; get better cards, birthday cards and goodness alone knows what else.

In the weeks before her death Vic occasionally said “Oh Mommy, promise me you won’t get angry with me when you clear out my cupboards…”  If only she knew how many tears I have shed clearing out her cupboards.

I must confess I have always had a memory box with Vic’s first little outfit ever, her first school uniform, all her report cards, a lock of her baby hair…  I will add to this box the lock of Vic’s hair that Esther cut after she had died.

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I am a sixty plenty wife, mother, sister, grandmother and friend. I started blogging as a coping mechanism during my beautiful daughter's final journey. Vic was desperately ill for 10 years after a botched back operation. Vic's Journey ended on 18 January 2013 at 10:35. She was the most courageous person in the world and has inspired thousands of people all over the world. Vic's two boys are monuments of her existence. She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend. I will miss you today, tomorrow and forever my Angle Child. https://tersiaburger.wordpress.com

10 thoughts on “OCVCC – Day three”

  1. You and I are alike, Tersia. There is no “right or wrong” way to move forward through grief. Many bereaved parents that I’ve known keep everything the same for years. Bedrooms are left untouched, and some even become a shrine to a dead child.
    On the second day after the funeral, I went through my son’s closet to begin the sorting. Like you, I felt compelled. I wish I had saved a few more items, but found some of Jason’s clothes when my mother-in-law passed away – she had treasured them. Some parents will have a quilt made from their child’s clothing.
    I understand why you are doing this. You want to move forward because you cannot bear to sort her clothes later on and you want to put the horror behind you. The cut shirts that remind you of Vicky’s agony – were something to discard; I understand that. Just be sure to save some of those special items in a box. I know you will, but wanted to mention it anyway.
    Things are going to continue to quiet down in your life. That is when the mind gets quite noisy. So many people care about you and I hope you feel that. I for one do!


  2. Every little ritual you do will be another step along the path of grief, leading to healing and recovery, Whatever you do is right for you, and more than anything else, you need to be kind to yourself, and only you can do that. Thinking of you


  3. I can’t add anything to the above posts, save, perhaps keep a little of the items of sexy stuff. That was part of her, too and will make you laugh remembering your admonitions, later…


  4. Take it slowly Tersia. Give yourself time. There’s no right or wrong way, only the way you choose. You don’t have to get rid of it all immediately, You will know when you’re ready to part with it all.


  5. What an emotional journey. Yet it seems like these items bring you comfort and joy, and that’s wonderful. Would that we all left behind such charming trinkets.


  6. Take all the time you need. It’s not an easy process. There are certainly things I would have done differently in cleaning out Jason’s room. I would have waited until I was ready to do it and not allowed myself to be pushed into thinking I had to do it at a certain time on someone else’s time frame. It sounds like you need the room, so your situation is different. We could have waited a while, and – for my sake – should have. Then I would have made 3 piles – okay to give away, things I absolutely want to keep, and things I’m not sure of or, in my grief, couldn’t make up my mind about. Obviously, I would give away things in the first category and box up things in the second. The last category is the one I would do differently. I felt like I HAD to make a decision only between keeping and “getting rid of.” Under pressure for others, and in my grief, I simply didn’t think of boxing up and storing the “unsure things” until a time when I could think more clearly and when my emotions weren’t so near the surface. How can one think clearly concerning the possessions of one’s child following a death? It’s not an easy thing to do, and I didn’t have very good support and didn’t do it well, I’m afraid. Once things are given away, you can’t get them back. What I should have done is store the things I wasn’t sure of and go through them later. I wish with all my heart I had done that. Now I wish I had some of Jason’s clothes to make a quilt from. I think it would give me great comfort.

    Hugs to you as you move forward with what you need to do. You are in my heart and prayers.


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