Would you be bothered if you were offered a dead person's possessions/clothes?

I’m not ready to start getting rid of anything, but I was talking to a coworker today and realized her husband is about the same size and height as mine was. I know money is tight for her and wondered in passing if he could wear some of Steve’s clothes.

I didn’t ask her because it struck me that some people might be really disturbed by that. But I don’t know why I suddenly thought so since it wouldn’t bother me.

Would you be bothered if someone offered you something that belonged to a dead loved-one of theirs? Is that creepy? I don’t want to be creepy. I already feel like I have grief cooties.

No, it doesn’t bother me. When my cousin died last fall his sister sent down a lot of his clothes; she said that she would rather someone in the family have them if they could use them, and if not, just take them to Goodwill because that’s what she would have done with them anyway. My husband kept a couple of his sport coats and when I look at them I think of Jeff.

Possessions? Not so much. Clothes? Yeah, a little.

When my grandmother died, my aunt had a hard time letting anything go out of the family. I picked out a few kitchen things, but didn’t want any of the clothes–even stuff I knew was new and unworn. In fairness, most was not my style or size. But I didn’t much want clothes that used to be Grandma’s and I’m not sure I’d be any keener on it coming from someone else’s dead loved one.

But I wouldn’t call it creepy–at least not if you phrased your original suggestion along the lines of “Hey, co-worker, I’ve got a bunch of little used clothes in more or less your husband’s size and wondered if he’d be able to get any use out of them”. It gets creepy if you are offering well-worn underwear, or asking everyone in sight, or . . . you know, generally behaving in ways that normal, healthy, POLITE people don’t do.

When a guy was lost at sea? I undertand sailors were suspiciou-it was bad luck to weara dead guy’s clothes.

I think it would be a stretch to say I’m a normal or healthy person right now.

I have been offered, and I didn’t find it creepy. I think Eureka’s phrasing would work well.

Not at all.

I’ve know many men that have died, and sometimes they gave me things (clothes, and yes, even shoes) when they knew it was close to the end, and other times their partners or friends asked if I wanted something after they died.

I really don’t see anything creepy about it.

My BIL’s best suit belonged to the late father of one of my sister’s (his wife’s) oldest friends. Of course, he’s about 6’4", which isn’t exactly the most standard of sizes – but it was offered – and accepted gratefully – on the basis of “hey, I think this would fit you.” He also got a bunch of dress shirts, I think. And their income is such that he can afford to buy clothes, even a good suit, when he needs to.

So, leave aside the charity element, and just say “I’ve got some clothes that are in good shape that I think would fit your husband – might he be interested?”

Next time you are in a Goodwill store, consider where some of those clothes and possessions came from. At least from a family member or friend, you know who the previous owner was.

I’m still using my dearly departed nana’s dressing gowns. I ended up with a quite a lot of her clothing because we were about the same size. I had no problems - quite the oppostite in fact. It was comforting to me to have something of hers so close to me while I was grieving.

I’ve gotten things from dead relatives, which is not what you suggested, but I’ve also gotten a few things from dead relatives of relatives. In fact, that is how I got the cat skull sitting on my shelf.

So no, I do not find it creepy. Although with clothes I always wonder if the style will be to the other person’s liking.

I went to a garage sale a few years ago. The owner had several brand new men’s shirts. I said, “Is there anything wrong with these?” She replied, “No, my husband died.”

I wasn’t creeped out by the dead guy’s clothing as much as I was the fact that I sounded a little crass when I asked about them.

Well, I think it would depend on the items - suits, sweaters, or dress clothing or items that don’t get much wear? I wouldn’t be bothered at all.

Favorite T-shirts or jeans or items that look well loved - I might be a bit weirded out.

However, I sure wouldn’t be offended if someone asked. Particularly not if money was an issue and the items would be used.

Nah, I have a few dress shirts that came through my father from someone I didn’t know. Doesn’t bother me much.

Now, possessions, those I’m happy to have from family, and I understand the desire to keep them in the family. I have my uncle’s backpack, with the understanding that I’ll take it on another trek in Nepal, and my grandfather’s clock, since I was the only one with good associations from it (it came from a black sheep of the family, but Grandpa taught me to tell time on it.)

I wouldn’t feel weird, but that’s just me. Some people may.

One way would be to mention that you were giving away stuff and say it just in passing as part of the conversation.

Doesn’t bother me at all. I have enough clothes from ebay/thrift shops that I’m sure that some of it had to come from a dead person.

Dad died in 2000.

Some of his clothes were inherited by Mom’s Dad, being of an appropriate size; others by my brothers; some were given to friends (mostly things that don’t come in a specific size, like his cloth handkerchiefs to the other friend who uses cloth handkerchiefs). I have his red bandanna, sash and beret (think Sanfermines), being the eldest; the sash is more orange than red by now (what we call “seasoned”), its first owner was my great-grandfather.

We evidently don’t have any problem with it, no. You could phrase it as “I’ve got to clean up, don’t want to be alone when I do it, and I’ve noticed (your husband) is a similar size to (mine)… would you come give me a hand and maybe take some of it for (your husband)?” That way you’re helping them and they’re helping you - after all, taking those things out of your house does help you. Or the way Eureka said.

I’ve helped clean out neighbor’s houses, shrug. It’s a neighborly duty where I come from. Usually you expect to be able to use the bathroom and get a glass of water when you need it, sometimes they give you something as a “thank you” memento.

I am not incredibly tall, so whenever someone of a similar height to me died, I would get their tux. At one point I had three dead men’s tuxedos in my wardrobe. It’s fine by me, anyway.

First, I haven’t posted my sympathies to you yet, jsgoddess - I am so sorry for your loss and I wish you strength in dealing with it.

As to your question: When my dad died, my mother gave me and my husband so many of his things - reading glasses for me, a ton of shirts from my husband. It did not creep us out, and moreover I understood that it was a way for my mom to cope with her grief.

Anyone offered the belongings of a person who has passed away should respond with “why thank you, it is so kind of you to share those possessions.” Any look of revulsion or discomfort at the offer would be cruel.

But that’s simply my opinion on the etiquette involved. The reality is that yeah, some people might be a little uncomfortable, and might unthinkingly indicate their discomfort before catching themselves.

So if you would be upset by their awkwardness, maybe something neutral like Goodwill or Salvation Army would be easier.

When my BIL died, my sister gave me two of his overcoats and a few belts. The overcoats fit as if they were made for me as did the belts. I was glad to take the overcoats since I was living in South Dakota at the time. It didn’t bother me at all to accept them.