Anyone who’s lost a partner knows that sick feeling you get walking into your home right after a death…
You see little pieces of them every where and in every room. No room is safe.
You may even come to hate walking in the door. I know I did.
Now, I know everyone handles death differently and trust me when I say, I think I’m at the far end of the “moving on” scale.
When you think about it, I think there’s basically only two main types of reactions…
Those who stop living and those who move on.
I was one who moved on and some may even say a bit too quickly.
But, I knew I couldn’t stand just sitting in our house staring at the walls. Always feeling this horrid sense of knowing I’m now alone and will be alone for the rest of my life.
He was truly my sole mate and there could be no other.
And all I kept thinking was that now I had ALL the responsibilities and no one else to help me make decisions or lean on as we had always done with each other… home maintenance, auto maintenance, care of our animals, paying bills, no one else to bounce ideas off of, ask their opinion, etc., etc… and the list goes on and on.
In a nut shell… LIFE was now up to me and me alone.
I even found myself, multiple times through out each day, starting to say… “hey, did you…” or “I need to remember…” or “I have to save that for…” WHO? There wasn’t anyone there.
And if it wasn’t for my son, I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through those first few days.
He was my rock. When I’d tear up or knew I’d have too hard a time trying to make arrangements or taking care of other business, all I had to do was tell him and he’d simply take care of it.
And when I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to be doing and/or what order to do them in… he was there helping me deal with it.
Words simply can’t express how much he really helped or how much that meant to me.
And this coming from a child of ours we barely ever seen, except once or twice a year on special occasions!
Yep, I kept telling everyone… “I don’t who this boy is, but, I’m keeping this one!” :o)
But, I digress…
Now as I hadn’t worked in 20+ yrs. and had a LOT of things that needed to get done before I could go back to work (home re-leveled, new roof, sorting, trash cleanup…), I decided I couldn’t simply sit around that lonely depressing house feeling sorry for the hand we’d been dealt. So, I got to work.
I started in the kitchen, as it was the only “safe” room in the house (little/no personal items that would stir up emotions or I’d hoped anyway).
I started cleaning out cupboards, drawers and every nook and cranny I could find. I even found myself installing a gadget under a cabinet in the kitchen at 3 in the morning!
After all, I wasn’t sleeping other than 3-4 hour catnaps or less. So, why not make good use of the time and more importantly keep my mind busy so I didn’t go crazy.
Now, I will admit (you cleaning fanatics should NOT read this :o)… I DID leave a couple dirty smudges on a door, cabinet, where ever that came from him (he was a machinist, so, dirt on handles, cabinet doors and other places were the norm around our house).
For some strange reason, though, it made me feel as if he was still with me. Some I later cleaned, but, at almost 5 months later now, I still have little reminders I simply can’t get rid quite yet.
Did I feel guilty for tossing his favorite “snack” and other items that were only his… You bet! But, keeping them wouldn’t bring him back and as cold as it may sound… Wouldn’t let ME go on living.
I did warn the kids… “When you come to visit, I know it will look like I’m trying to wipe him out of my life, but, I’m not. I’m keeping little pieces of him in every room of the house. I just need to keep moving and deal with all this the best way I can.”
I’ll never forget what my son said to me… “Mom, I don’t care what you do. Everyone deals with this differently and you just need to do whatever helps you. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.”
I must have cried on and off the rest of that day. I felt such pride.
I also told him, I felt really bad that I couldn’t protect them from having to go through this and that I couldn’t do more to make them feel better.
He said… “Mom, it’s not your job to help us. It’s our job to help YOU do whatever needs to be done and help you get through this.”
I know! I almost fell over! Seriously, I’M KEEPING THIS CHILD! lol
Well, long story short…
By the end of the second week, I had cleaned out and reorganized the kitchen, dining and living room.
And within a month, I had the entire house done and a room FULL of yard sale stuff. Although, I’ll admit, our bedroom was the last and hardest room to deal with.
I also did get rid of the majority of his clothes, except for a few items… His motorcycle jacket, few t-shirts I “borrowed” from time to time and other misc. items. I knew I couldn’t bare to sell his clothes, as looking at them all day long would stir up too many emotions. So, I simply donated them instead.
I then moved onto the great outdoors and our THREE storage sheds… ugh!
Coming up, tools, tools and more tools, trash piles and SO much more. Including pics to better help you understand the enormous, and at times, overwhelming task I now had before me… stay tuned!
Trust me, you don’t want to miss this!