The other day, my 2 1/2 year old found one of Jeremy's mementos - an autographed baseball still in the box. I had it in one of the boys top drawers to keep so that they might have it one day when they get older.
Naturally, he wanted to play with it. He took it out of the cardboard box, unwrapped the tissue paper around it, and started throwing it around the house. As soon as I realized what he was doing I gently put it away and told him he couldn't play with that particular ball because it was daddy's and it was special.
The Business of Change that I started back in mid-September continues on. There’s just so much stuff to go through and just so little willpower on my part. Despite all the difficult work packing her 118 pair of shoes into boxes, only one box has made it to a new home. (I remind myself that one is better than none – and even one is still a change.) That one box full of adventures not taken was dropped off yesterday. I’m sure the nice lady at Safe Place found it odd that “Do you need a receipt?” was a reason to burst into tears. But I took the receipt, tried to drive straight and by the time I was half-way home I had stopped crying. That’s a real improvement.Read more
Last night, I finally threw Jeff's toothbrush in the trash. 3 years, 7 months and 22 days, since he used it to scrub his teeth clean.
This action was precipitated a few days ago when I had spoken to a dear friend who is known for being outspoken and blunt. She doesn't mean harm at all but is very Northern European in the delivery of her very strong beliefs and feelings.
During our visit, she told me that I had to "get over" Jeff. She said it was time to stop grieving and that I needed to get rid of the active reminders of, not only his death, but his life as well. Photos, personal effects, etc. All these should be removed.
She told me that I was teaching the kids to grow up grieving. That they would never "get over it" if I didn't move on. My lovely friend told me that she had lost grandparents who she had been close to and favourite friends and that she had had to move on.Read more
I wore Jeff's work coat the other night - Halloween night. It was the first time I have worn it in the three years since he died. I haven't wanted it to lose any of his smell, cells or presence by donning it myself. But with it on, I felt warm, cuddled and protected from the cold Autumn wind biting at me as I followed the kids down a variety of driveways while they asked strangers for candy.
Although I could have used his coat many times in the snow or stacking wood in the days since his death, it has hung in his closet collecting dust and the smell contained within said closet.Read more
I've been sorting through our cupboards and closets and purging the least needed/most outgrown items lately in anticipation of living mostly indoors again after a summer in the backyard and beach.
I have found mismatched gumboots, lost flashlights, a dried up snail and the odd coin. Most surprisingly, I have unearthed copious amounts of Jeff's clothing despite thinking that the vast majority of it had been distributed among family, friends and the Salvation Army.Read more
September 16 the packers come.
September 17 they take it all and move it to our new digs.
I've been clearing out,
getting rid of stuff,
bumping into him.
Six years ago today you headed out the door for what would be your final bike ride. You checked the tires on your bike, oiled the chain, filled two water bottles, kissed me good-bye, left, came back for some unidentified thing (I still wonder what brought you back, and if those additional moments cost you your life), and then kissed me good-bye again. After that last touching of lips, our lives would never again be the same.
The last two days I've been sick.
I found myself lying in my bed, the wrong way.
Backwards (head where my feet usually are, feet where my head usually is)
The fever is making me feel backwards.
Duality of vision. At least that’s what I’m calling it. As of May 4th last year, my way of looking at physical things has changed. For example, driving into my garage every day I see Maggie’s catcher’s mask she used to wear while playing softball. It hangs just inside the garage door right where I park the car. When I see that mask, I think of the soft plastic that used to touch her forehead, the grill she used to breathe and taunt through, the strap that used to get tangled in her hair…. Such a simple object yet so filled with the richness of her experiences, the richness of her. I also see it as a creepy object a dead person used to wear. Both perspectives exist simultaneously, separately and incongruently in my mind. One of those perspectives exists only in my heart.Read more
About four months after Phil's death, I returned to my nail salon for the first time since being widowed. As I sat in the chair trying to keep it together while idle chatter swirled around me, my manicurist looked up and asked if I was going to take off my rings. Absently I handed them to her (my engagement ring, my wedding ring, and Phil's wedding ring were all crowded together on my finger) and she set them down awkwardly on the table next to us. Then she looked up at me and said, "Isn't your husband dead?" At first I was sure I heard her wrong. "Excuse me?" I said. Turns out my hearing was fine, because she repeated herself.Read more