If you had asked me before last weekend when I'd start moving out some of Jeff's stuff, I would have said, "Never....Or maybe in a year or so." But bouyed by the strength and support from other widows met and spoken to about this subject, I feel capable of doing this. At least some of it.
The stress and pain I feel about the removal of Jeff's things is that it feels as if I am removing 'him' from my home. That I am discarding him and our life together. That it will be thought that I am getting rid of him. But NO! I want to cling to him, hold as much of him as I can to us and not let go. Although I know that quite literally he is not his stuff, telling my emotional side this is close to impossible.
I, also, quite irrationally worry that he may need his socks...or his lobster claw lamp...or his 'hat tree'....
So, I am going to start small. My sister is coming over this evening to help me. Jeff had close to 600 videos. Since he has died, I have not even watched one. His addiction to buying DVDs was always a source of annoyance for me. I knew he watched them while at sea, but the accumulation of the media took up space and cost a small fortune.
I am nervous. I am going to try to be methodical and unemotional. I am hoping that many of his things can go to people who loved him and will know just how important all of his stuff is *smirk* but I know that it is possible that things like his bottle cap collection will end up unappreciated....which in turn may make it impossible for me to remove from my home in the near future. It's not that I love the copious amounts of yogourt containers with bottle caps (the man was a bit of a pack rat, people), it's that I love him so intensely that it hurts me to think that no one else will see the love he had for such crap. Crazy?
Anyhow, I am trying to keep my eye on the prize. Space. A job that is inevitable that is started and that much closer to completion. A sign of healing and acceptance.
Yesterday, I spent some time on the phone with some of my rockstar widda friends looking for tips that will ease the pain of the task:
1. Don't do it alone.
2. Start small.
3. Get that someone else to take the things away - seeing them land in a heap at the local Sally Ann could cause me to frantically clutch everything to my chest while screaming, "You bastards!!!! You don't know what this is!!!! You don't deserve it!!!" and sprinting away with plastic Stanley Cups and large tinfoil balls falling from the pile as I run....
4. Try to think of the good things that will come from this - space.....um.....closure, etc.
5. Give myself a pat on the back and a drink in the hand for a hard job well done.
And, just for anyone who may think it, I am not sending 'Jeff' away. He is still held so dear to my heart. I would cling to him and bury my face into his chest and cry that he was not allowed to leave me if I could. I would tell him that I will love him for all eternity. I would tie myself to him to prevent our seperation by death. But I can't. I need to crawl an inch forward....and unfortunately, his five pairs of gumboots are blocking the way.
Here's the story.
2 days ago