I have spent the day cleaning and packing. The house goes on the market this week and in realtor talk is in need of “de-cluttering”. Not there is much in my house anyway. We had only just moved in when my late husband was diagnosed with his illness and honestly, I only unpacked what I needed. The rest sat boxed up in the basement or forgotten in closets. We didn’t have much furniture because our previous home had been very small. We’d planned to update and refurnish but neither were ever accomplished. So the house is furniture light and toy infested for the most part.
Since last spring I have been purging in spurts. Preparing myself for something is how a friend put it. “You’re getting ready for a move,” she told me. “I’ll bet within a year you will be somewhere else.” At the time I was still in that numbness that claimed me during the first six months, but I did have sense that something was coming. It drove me to find some way to move forward with me life as it simultaneously drove me crazy.
As I work my way through rooms and closets, I am discovering things I hadn’t known I had forgotten about, and it gets easier to find these memories and appreciate them without letting them throw me into a tailspin of sorrow. I don’t know if it is the same for Rob. He is still going through his “firsts” and I am into “seconds”. Odd notion, seconds of something you never wanted in the first place.
Another widow in my WET group, who is also selling her home, remarked to me at out meeting last night that she have wished she could just rent one of those large dumpsters and just empty the contents of her house into it. So many things have memories attached to them, but basically it comes down to just have too much stuff. I told her that in my next life I was just not going to buy things. Perfect the art of minimalism. I have fantasies of being able to fit everything I own in the back of one of those little UHaul trailers. Just a fantasy though.
The purging of material goods is upsetting my daughter more than it is me. Earlier in the week my oldest niece stopped by to pick up some of the baby items I still have and take them to an old high school friend of hers who recently had a baby. The girl needs pretty much everything by way of supplies, and I am happiest giving my possessions away these days, especially to those who are in more need than myself, because I don’t consider myself needy anymore.
After dealing with a teary, whiny child both last night and this morning, I come to find out from her that she thought I should have kept the baby things because “babies need a lot of things and can’t share my things”. She still harbors the belief that Rob and I will give her the younger sibling she longs for quite desperately. Even after a long talk as we drove to the dress shop to try on her flower girl outfit, she refuses to believe that I am very serious when I say there will be no baby brother. Despite her bravado and her real desire to move to Canada and start a new life, she is just a little, little girl who thinks her daddy will not be able to find us if we move and that a baby would still be better than the big sisters she is getting.
Whereas my daughter mourns the items lost to our move, I would gladly dump nearly all we own at the local Goodwill. Clothes, dishes, kitchenware, furniture, everything. It is all part of the past. The past with Will. The past when the future was bright. The past of waiting while he died. The past year of grieving. I don’t live in any of those realities anymore.
Whenever I speak with someone about Rob, the wedding or going to live in Canada, the conversations reference words like “fairy tale” and “dream”. People will tell me that they are so happy for me because I deserve to have some happiness after all I have been through. I don’t see my life now as dream like or Disneyesque, and I know of people who suffered far more than I ever did and are not contemplating nearly as wonderful a future. I am not really much different than anyone else. We all have opportunities come up over the course of our lives and some are seized and others let by. The opportunity for love came along in Rob and for him in me and we were optimistic enough, and smart enough, to recognize it and accept.
And so now I am cleaning for a move.