2 June 2014

It is done

It's now been over three years since Mom died. Until today her coats hung in the  hall with matching scarves carefully placed around the neck of the hanger. Little ribbons or flowers, depending on which charity she had given to that winter, were pinned to lapels. Her shoes lay underneath, dusted each week by me. It was though she was still resident in the house. If you held a scarf to your face you could still detect her perfume. They smelt of Mom.

Upstairs in the wardrobe hung her clothes. All neatly lined up. More coats and jackets, then dresses, trousers, skirts. In another wardrobe blouses and tops. In cupboards her other wear, ordered meticulously. All ironed, neatly folded, a place for everything and everything in its place. Sachets of pot pourri  and lavender everywhere. Little tablets of soap from gift boxes lay underneath perfumed paper. Small  brooches on  her 'best' jackets. No dust had collected. Everything smelt fresh and lovely, just like my Mom.

Everything was as it was on the day she left us. Seems like yesterday and yet it seems like a lifetime ago.

Dad had finally agreed last year that everything should be sorted and bagged and given to charity but every time I mentioned getting started, a tear would roll down his cheek and I did not have the heart to start the job. This week he's away so I suggested that it might be the right time for me to deal with this, whilst he wasn't there, so as not to upset him as much as if he watched me go through all her lovely clothes. He agreed.

So today it was done. As I took each item from the hanger and folded it neatly, then placed it in a bag, I thought of all the times I had seen Mom wearing that dress, those trousers and so on. Memories of ordinary days and memories of special times. How particular colours suited her, what she paired together, combinations. Remembering how lovely she looked in everything, recalling conversations. I felt her with me. I could smell her and in my memory I could see her, smiling, always smiling, looking beautiful.


  1. I feel for you Linda; it must have been an upsetting day. I kept a few of my Mom's scarves (like your Mom, she had them to go with different outfits). I'm not sure I really can still smell her on them, it may just be me remembering her scent, but it is amazing how evocative scent can be.

  2. We're made of different stuff Linda, but I understand why it took you as long as it did to deal with mum not being there and those coats and scarfs were "her". Just look at it this way, a bit like I do (who's feisty old mum died 35 yrs ago), they are always there in your memory which is fresh each day,

  3. Keith, you misunderstand. It wasn't my decision to make. It was my father's. I could only respect what he wanted. He is the one that was married to her for 53 years and still lives in the house that they shared for nearly 50 of those years.

  4. @Linda very few people do what you are doing :)
    I respect your feelings for your parents. Otherwise Parents are considered as excess baggage in European Countries.