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Want to know how long your smell stays in your clothes...

I thought I was ready. Then I quickly found a lump forming in my throat. Walked to the garage and cried.

Going through there were pieces that stirred up memories.

This was worn when he coached third base and Z did a delayed steal (on her own) from second and he turned quickly yelling 'GET DOWN'… as he is squatted at the waist with his hands practically on the ground. Shaking his head, she shared a huge smile, as she was called safe and tapping the top of her helmet.

This sweatshirt it fills many photos… it is the one that was worn on that day he won the State Softballl Championship.

This Nike 1/4 zip was worn to chemo the day our local news sports broadcaster came to the treatment to record footage for a story he did on Doug’s fight

This one well it was worn a lot but I specifically remember the camping trip when he was teaching Demi to shoot pop cans with the BB gun.

This Nike t shirt was worn in one of the last pictures of him full of joy. It was Bentli’s High School graduation party in our backyard.

As I started pulling his things one shirt at a time, folding it nicely and placing it in a bin, it was the aroma that tickled my nose and drew me to smother my face with it. Oh my word… it was as if he was standing next to me in my closet. My eyes started leaking and at one point I collapsed on to the floor of the closet sobbing. In my head I kept saying he’s not coming home. He’s not coming home. I finally screamed into the sweatshirt I was grasping onto…


Did I honestly think he was? I believe it is this trauma that happens in our head when grief hits this hard. My heart knew he wasn’t coming home, my conscious mind knew he wasn’t coming home. But trauma can cause a pause in our brain and I believe that is where I held onto the idea he would come home. The trauma grief causes each of us is really a spectacular event. The effect it can have on some that won’t happen on others. Or the disturbance it may cause one, but it doesn’t on another. Trauma really is individualized by each soul and each traumatic event. There are a couple of items that I cannot take out. They will hang there in my closet forever I am pretty sure.

Grief enters our life most of the time without an invitation, unpacks and can try to ruin what happiness we still have. May you never have to see how long the smell stays in the clothes of a loved one. And if you are faced with it or facing it now, I give you permission to have that time be whatever YOU decide. So to answer the question how long your smell stays in your clothes… in my case 6 1/2 years it has stayed in certain items.

Some quickly remove loved ones belongings out of the house while others keep it in place for years or decades. And which ever you may be IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT for your journey.

I am grateful I didn’t quickly remove Doug’s things. I needed them there for my healing. I knew he wasn’t coming home. I for my own grief journey needed to see them hanging when I opened my closet.

It has to be your timing or when your heart and head can handle it.

I had a Pastor recently speak the words…

God cannot fix what you refuse to face. Wait say it louder for those in the back!


Maybe more healing will come now that I have faced the closet.

James 1:12

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Love and Blessing to all!


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