I’m finally back home in Kona. And honestly, it’s a little strange. I’ve been traveling more in the past year than the entire previous decade. And I’ve gotten kind of good at it. I’ve honed in on what I really need and where each item belongs in my baggage as I move from one place to the next. So being home really clarifies 1) how little one really needs and 2) how much I really have.
And don’t get me wrong. I’m no hoarder. Just 15 years in the same house - well, you accumulate stuff. And that’s even after getting rid of quite a lot since Mike died. But as I look around my house I realize how much more of this is going to have to go. Even if I find a way to keep this house (foreclosure hearing this Friday, by the way), I really need to clear and simplify.
And if I did move, what would I take with me? That’s a huge decision too. Do I take my teak dining set, the one my parents got in Denmark in the early 60s, which is so special to my heart? Do I take my piano, or is the cost of moving it just too much? When I go through my kitchen, for example, I constantly come across items that Mike either brought into our marriage or loved for silly reasons. How much of that will I need, and how much would I be able to leave behind?
The idea of leaving any of it behind hurts to the very marrow of my bones. But I know that practicality must win out, at least most of the time. The cost of moving household goods from Hawaii all the way to Florida is extreme. When I think about it, I could probably replace a lot of things more cheaply than it would cost to move them.
So this is what is going through my head. I am itching to go through my house, one room at a time, and make piles of things to throw out, give away or maybe garage sale. And it feels like I am giving away a piece of my life. A piece of my life with Mike, my marriage…a piece of the person I was before, but can’t be any longer.
There are certain things that belonged to Mike that I will carry with me forever. That is for sure. No matter where I end up there will always be a special shelf, and a special wall of photos, and a special corner. But at some point I realize those special places will have to become only a part of my life. Only a part of my world. Only a part of the life I’ve lived.
Maybe my fellow widows will understand how hard that is. To feel pushed out into the world in the life we didn’t ask for. To look at things around our home that have lost their glow because the person they belonged to is gone. To know that every day that dawns is another day farther away from them.
And even to have lost the connection to the place we were with them. To finally admit that my place in this world is forever changed because of this loss. And that I can’t do a damn thing about it.