It has been 10 years and it still aches as if it has been 10 minutes. Life is furiously passing me by. I am strong. I have dealt with my husband’s death but not the aftermath that piles up such as the closet, the drawers, the pictures, the same bedroom set. Can you relate?
People often comment on my being so courageous. Am I really?
As I look around my home (10 years later) my husband’s physical life still has a position in our home. In every room, corner and closet.
I believe my fear is that the last remnants of my husband physically living in our home will now be absent due to his substantial presence that he so faithfully depicted.
If I clean out, get rid of or throw away his material presence will the vast hole in my heart “grow” beyond repair? Or will that hole slightly diminish knowing his love is still present and cannot be depleted by physically removing items out of our home that we shared.
With the absence of his “items” will there be a fresh vibrant space that will allow new “light” to shine in? I am reminding myself that unlike materialistic “things” Love is ever- present, everlasting and irreplaceable.
In my heart I know it has never been about tangible “things” that has kept his memory alive but about the intangible gift of love that has lived on and taken on a new form in his untimely noticeable absence.
I have never felt it necessary to clean out until now. In order to move through my personal grief journey and not get “wedged” in it –it is time. I know now that getting rid of the “things” will not take the immeasurable love away that I was so privy to receiving when Mark was physically present in our home. In fact I can hear him whisper– “Clean out! Get Rid! Let it all go.” The murmur awakens me; in my mind I see that playful smirk on his face – one that conveys to me, “ I will always be with you, no matter the time, distance or space. “ Comfort has set in and I am now ready to clear the clutter.
I have judged myself harshly and have kept this a secret to the outside world for fear of being criticized. No matter where we are in our grief journey (whether it be 10 minutes or 10 years) none of us has the right to be critiqued. We did not enter this journey voluntarily. From the moment we lost our partners, life took on a whole new formula. We were headed down one road and suddenly hit a big curve! We had to take a turn down a road that was unknown; there was no map and no GPS to guide us. We all took the road that we were most comfortable knowing at the time.
I am writing this in hopes that someone else out there is seeking solace.
We are in this together. We are a force to be reckoned with and each of us has our uncomfortable grief space that we are terrified to share for fear of judgment.
Trust me…trust yourself…you will know when the time is right.
If you can relate, I am hoping that by sharing my “space” it will ultimately allow you to know that wherever you are in this process it is exactly where you need to be.
*This post was first written for Modern Widows Magazine. http://modernwidowsclub.com