One of the biggest lessons I've learned on this journey of widowhood is that grief is not logical. It makes no sense. It's arrogant and naive to believe that we think we know how we would react in any stressful or painful situation. Segments of our lives, portions of our morals and many of our ideals become frayed and scattered.
When we begin to remake our lives, things, us, are decidedly different.
I've had people tell me that they would never be able to part with their husband's things should he die before they did. I've had others report to me that they have thought that I am clinging to the past by keeping some of Jeff's belongings. I don't know which camp is right....I just know that there are some things that I had never given a thought to and that now have such meaning....or maybe not 'meaning', just value to me emotionally that I am unable to part with them just yet.
There are items in this home that I will never be able to use, I can't remember a specific moment that signifies importance or that are truly undesirable to anyone besides myself. Logic does not, at all, enter my thoughts in the hoarding of these objects.
The specific thing I am talking of....Jeff's mismatched socks. Can't do it. I don't know if I will EVER get around to discarding them.
They lay tangled in a basket on the shelf above our washing machine with the kids and mine. The only distinguishing factor between the socks is that his are decidedly larger....and dirtier. They no longer smell like him. I have never found their mate crammed behind the washing machine or at the bottom of the hamper. So they sit in the missing sock receptacle...and wait.
Every time I reach into the basket to attempt to match the socks thrown in there at the end of a laundry folding session, I find his single socks. I don't know if it is the symbolism of being left behind, if it is the thought that these are the last of his personal effects that are tied in with our daily lives or if it is just that I can't bring myself to throw out something that holds proof that he walked with us. It's simply not logical.
But the lack of pragmatic thinking does not make me discard them. I still smile inwardly and occasionally shed a tear when I attempt to match his single socks. Because grief, it really makes no sense.