What to do on the 2 year mark of my boyfriend's ex girlfriends death?

I am 22 and have only been in a 9 yr relationship besides this new relationship that has currently been going on 4 months now. His ex girlfriend whom he loves dearly used to live with him and one morning he woke up early to make her breakfast in bed and she had passed away in her sleep. He still has her clothes in his closet, only pics of them together on facebook, her stuffed Valentines day puppy dog she gave him, and his oldest cat of 14yrs was named by her whose not doing well. So I am constantly reminded of her, which I feel like I worry about her death more than he does. He's already throwing out the "I love you" 's but in a wk it will be 2 yrs since she has passed....I am unsure of what I should do on that day. I would like to avoid him completely that day because I feel uncomfortable but I know that probably isn't what he would like. OH BY THE WAY she passed away on his mom's birthday, which she will not celebrate. What shall I do?!? I will never try to tell him to get rid of her stuff, it's just such a depressing situation. He had no closure, I feel like I need counseling just to date him :(
Asked Sep 11, 2012
It's hard to say as a total outsider, but it sounds like he's still very much in the active grieving stage. What he experienced was horribly traumatic, and he obviously cared for her deeply.

I wonder if you've just become some sort of emotional surrogate. It's kind of you to be there for him, but this is all healing that should have happened before your first date. You aren't his therapist. It's not your job to help him get over his lost love. I'm not really seeing how that's a workable situation.

I would say though that if you feel like you need therapy to continue with a four-month-old relationship, that's just not a healthy situation for you. If so much of the emotional energy is expended on him and her... Well how do you fit I into the equation?

If another woman's clothes are in the closet -- be she dead or alive -- there's no room for anyone else. It sounds like he needs some space to deal with his loss... And maybe you need a guy who has space for you in his heart and closet.

I'd say give him that space on the anniversary... And all the other days as well. Maybe you two can try again later... It sounds like timing just isn't on your side.

Maybe Rob will chime in with a better answer...
Answered Sep 12, 2012
You don't say much about your feelings toward him. It almost sounds like you're staying with him out of sympathy, rather than the normal feelings that make good relationships work.

With all due respect to those who have passed, life goes on. If he chooses to spend the rest of his life in mourning, that's his choice. Whether you want to join it is yours. I would wait until the anniversary has passed and start a discussion with him on where this is going. Tell him that you have no desire to erase his memory of her but you want a life with him like she had. It's time to pack her things in the attic and move on. Don't rush him into a quick choice, rather quietly sit back and watch your answer unfold.

When people are unwilling to move on, they remain where they are. The question is whether that's where you want to be.
Answered Sep 12, 2012
Edited Sep 12, 2012
... and Rob chimed in with a better answer. :-)

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