Today I spent the day cleaning out a closet. It was far harder than I expected. I went though almost a box of tissues, and I still haven’t finished. I will go at it again tomorrow, finish it in a haze of tears.
I was packing up Kevin’s things, trying to figure out what to keep, and really why to keep it. It has to be done, not for any other reason than I am getting some work done on the house. Survival techniques differ for everyone – for me, I couldn’t stay in our old bedroom. I moved across the hallway, but the new room doesn’t have a bathroom. I’m having that done, but it means tackling Kevin’s closet and going through his stuff. Not easy.
The thing is, almost everything we own, all the things we hold dear, become just ‘stuff’ after we are gone. My house is crammed to the rafters with stuff. Things that I will never touch for the rest of my life. Books I will never read. The things collected over 31 years of marriage. It meant something at one time, but it doesn’t have the same pull for me anymore. But to get rid of it? It means opening up all the doors and windows in my brain, looking out and looking in. Seeing things that were and are no longer. Touching things that belonged to the person I loved. Things he wore, wanted, played, read or listened to. Missing him, desperately wishing life hadn’t been so cruel.
But really, life isn’t cruel, life just is. It takes and it gives, indiscriminately. It’s the fact that we are able to love, to feel joy, and consequently, to feel sorrow; that creates a painful longing for what is no more. I wouldn’t change what I had, I just wish I had it longer. It’s still just as complicated for me today as it was right after Kev died, my heart is still wrapped up in him. Lucky and unlucky at the same time, that’s my lot.