For Lent we have decided to something I read about on the Internet and try to get rid of one bag of something every day for 40 days (you get to skip Sunday). Richard, Maria and I are taking turns and then one day is for household stuff. The bags can be garbage, recycling or donations. For whatever reason, we started with Thomas's clothes in the basement. He had left a bunch of civilian clothes in a portable closet (next up, decide what to do with the closet!) and I at least have been tiptoeing around them for the last five plus years. We did dispose of the socks and underwear soon after he died because they were in a small chest of drawers that we decided would be useful and because no one wants to use someone else's socks and underwear! But, he'd left several winter jackets, a bunch of t-shirts, both plain and with logos, two belts . . . actually there was less there than I'd remembered. Some things he had at Ft. Lewis with him and I think those things must be in the trunk with his uniforms. Some things he left with his friend David, apparently the last things he'd worn before putting on his camouflage to leave because when David gave it to us, it was clear he'd just left them unwashed. I was able to dispose of those (after a year of stewing they were not really salvageable). But the things he left at our house: those were hard. I'd seen him wear almost all of it, with the exception of some of the souvenir t-shirts. Some things, we have pictures of him in them.
Anyway, this turned out to be harder than I was hoping. I spent the time in the basement shaking a bit, though no crying (that was reserved for random moments later). Still, I think I can turn the t-shirts into a sort of memory quilt--they really do cover a wide range of his extra-curricular activities from school and church. Not sure when that's going to be able to happen since I have several other projects in line first and my life is not exactly structured for long-range planning right now. But, I can gather them up and keep them safe until there is time to do it.