I recently wrote about my decision to move out of our family home and into a smaller apartment, better suited to my ‘single’ lifestyle. It will be a month or two until I actually make the move, however this week I started packing away things I want to put in storage and sorting out un-needed items to donate to charity or just throw in the trash.
It’s kind of scary how much ‘stuff’ I’ve accumulated. Not quite on the level of those people you see on the Hoarders TV shows, but hey, it’s a slippery slope! The problem with being just one human living in a four-bedroom house, is there are literally cupboards and even whole rooms you can fill with junk and then ignore.
So the notion of pulling every item out and assessing its worth has been very overwhelming. Luckily, my wonderful parents, who are always there to lend a hand before I can even ask them for help, arrived to help me start the mammoth task. In one afternoon we scraped the surface and as good as it felt to make a start, there is still a long way to go.
It was cathartic to shed the weight of possessions I didn’t need or use anymore. Once I started to see progress, it began to feel almost addictive. With every bag or box that packed away or threw in the rubbish bin, I felt lighter. I was on a roll… until I got to a cupboard of Dan’s office (that is now my office) containing some of his old paperwork, tax returns and computer equipment.
As I sat on the floor, surrounded by the remnants of a life that he departed from so suddenly, the sadness hit me like a tidal wave.
I expected it, of course. This process was always going to be emotional and I’m sure there are more tough days to come, like the moment I hand over my keys and close our front door for the last time. Even typing that makes me well up. But still, I feel ready.
I wasn’t expecting to feel angry at him, when packing up his things. I have had my share of angry days and don’t often go there anymore. However there it was, that moment of frustration that I was here, tying up his loose ends. Anger that his disease robbed me of my life with him. Disbelief that my amazing husband could succumb to such darkness so suddenly and right under my nose.
How did I get here? Why did he have to go? And what the hell am I going to do with his four old laptops (and who needs four lap tops anyway!?).
How could he have left this mess for me to clean up? Why didn’t he talk to me about his disease? WTF happened?!
All the questions that I rarely ask myself these days were back in an instant. Thankfully just as quickly as they popped in to my head, the answers soon followed.
He was sick. He wasn’t in control. He didn’t know. He couldn’t ask for help at that point, the disease was too far along.It wasn’t ‘him’. He didn’t leave. He was taken by depression.