Thursday, February 21, 2019

Cleaning up the Clutter

When my husband died, I made a decision for myself and my family.  I got rid of most things that were his.  What was I going to do with them?  I gave all of his shirts to my best friend, Glenda and she had her wonderful mom, Helen, make me and my children these beautiful quilts made of his shirts.  We got them for Christmas.  I cry when I look at mine.  My children hold on to this beautiful piece of their father.  I needed to do this to create our new normal as quickly as possible.  My room is one of the last hold outs.

His stuff is different than the stuff that he gave me.  I couldn't change the time on the alarm clock for a while because he was the last one to set it.  I'm lousy at decorating but he loved that stuff.  He would like to arrange tchotchkes I collected around the room.  Sometimes it isn't that he bought me anything but that he was the last person to touch that ballerina that my father gave me.

In the beginning when he first died, I would try and attack my room.  This would be the day and then I would start only to find a card or memento or think of him and I would end up as I have always feared, crying in a little ball on my bed with a mess around me.  I may have not said it lately but grief is exhausting.  I would be tired for the rest of the day and I can't afford to be that tired.  So my room is a mess.  My son comes in and looks around and just shakes his head.  He's my neat child.  He's waiting for the day that I tell him, "This is the day!  Let's clean!"  I have started donating some stuff.  We try to donate every month or so.  I am selling my purses.  Selling them isn't like giving them away.  I can sell them and collect the money to do something with it.  I am determined to have a vacation with the money that I collect from the purses that I sell.  I've sold 7 so far.

Minimizing your stuff is making a decision on who you will be.  It works with your identity.  I've listened to Marie Condo's book.  I haven't watched her show but it doesn't matter because she can't tell me who I am.  This is a decision that I have to make on my own.  I need to be active in forming the identity that I am going have as I go forward, understanding that identity is liquid and changing.  I understand that my identity is found in Christ.  I am a Christian, first and foremost.  I do Christian things.  All these things that I hold on to will disappear but God will never leave me nor forsake me.  It's easier to say than to do.  I think I'm ready.  I think I'm trying.  It may take longer than I'd like but this is part of grieving.  When you have people trying to change around you, be kind.  What may be so easy for you may be very hard for them and vice versa.  That's all for now.

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