I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve been asked this question. I’m not sure if people believe there are some rules as to the perfect time, or if societal rules are our there somewhere on the protocol here.
Oh, by the way, you remember my thoughts about society’s rules on pet loss. From what I’ve mostly found, these are written by non-pet lovers. The people who don’t get what we are going through are the ones who have the loudest and most aggressive opinions on what is right and wrong when it comes to this subject! Always remember that when people tell you how you should feel, what you should do, and what is the RIGHT thing to do here, you do what’s right for you. Permission to do just that. Period. Rant over on that subject!
So back to the question: when is the right time to get rid of our precious love’s items? Their food bowl, toys, beds, collars, leashes, Christmas stocking, ornaments, and the list can go on and on. (Well, at least it does in our home with all their possessions!)
At least for me, I have never even contemplated this question with anything other than possibly “never” or “maybe sometime.” Our house still has every food bowl lined up in our kitchen from the animals. Mico’s bowl, even after 16 years sits in the same spot. Not sure how and why this started, but Mico would eat her meals in the bathroom while we got ready for work. Beautiful time to spend together in the morning, so to this day her bowl always gets placed in our bathroom. Mike the Dog’s bowl is still in use, and Crisco and Ellie’s bowls look like they always did. I’m sure our house is like yours; mealtime is FUN and exciting! Therefore, the bowls are just a small reminder to us of the dancing and chaos that happened every morning and evening for the “feeding of the livestock!” I love that!
For everything else, we have mostly kept all their special items. The leashes and collars are stacked up on the hanger, the toy box is overflowing with all the toys from years past. It gives me such comfort to see these things, and to have these reminders that it was all real. The laughter. The toys. The walks. It was all real.
So, when do you get rid of their things? When you feel it’s the right time. Or never.
Both answers are right, if they are YOUR answers!