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The road to closure
Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 3:52 PM
Joined: 1/23/2017
Posts: 1319

I'm sure that there are more paths to that point when a person finally can begin to feel like living again than I can even imagine, but this is mine, and so far, it's working.

I woke up that morning after my Barbara had passed with an empty feeling. The house was too quiet. There were no scheduled visits from the hospice people. I didn't need to wake Barbara up and change her briefs, or feed her, or give her her morning pills.  There was just me, standing in the kitchen making my breakfast.  After breakfast and my shower, I made a list of people I thought would want to know that she had passed.  Then I just walked around the house, looking at her things. The dust covered jars of shells. Her collection of salt & pepper shakers. Her clothes hanging in the closet. Her clothes hanging in the other closet. Her craft stuff.

The first actual thing I began was deciding what clothing I would keep and what I would donate. All of the time as I was going through her clothes, I would talk with her, asking if it was alright to be allowing someone else to enjoy her blouses and pants and T-shirts as much as she had. I did keep a few things. A T-shirt she had purchased in England on her embroidery guild tour. A few others I had gotten for her. Everything else - out the door and hello, Salvation Army.

When it came to her salt & pepper shakers, I kept one set only, and found a home for the rest with a lady who was thrilled to get them. The same story with her beads and craft supplies.

Oh, and her shells. 40 years or more of collecting shells and pretty rocks. They were EVERYWHERE ! On shelves. In drawers. Tucked into cubbyholes and crevices. In the laundry room. In. my garage. In her dresser. In my dresser. Under the bed. All over the house. Donate, donate, donate !

My final task will be taking her ashes with me to her beloved Oregon coast, and there on some quiet beach, I will brave the inevitable wind that blows off of the Pacific ocean, and scatter her ashes on the water.

Will that be all ? No, I will still talk with her now and again, as I fumble with my new found pleasures of cooking, or switch the TV to something with more sci-fi in it. I will remind her teddy bear that mommy wants us to be happy.

And at night, I will still tell her good night, and that I love her. I'm sure there will be other things that will crop up as I go through life without her physical presence near me, but I will remind myself that this journey takes time, and perseverance.

Just like my garage door, which always leaks some air past it when the wind blows, I don't think closure will ever be totally complete, but maybe I don't want it to be. I like the thought of Barbara creeping through the cracks in my defenses every so often, and allowing me to remember our 38 years together.

Posted: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 4:33 PM
Joined: 2/16/2017
Posts: 1579

Dear Chrisp,

This is beautiful Barbara and her loving memories will be with you for the rest of your life. That empty feeling will fade after time but your memories will be with you forever. Hugs Zetta