Thursday, March 6, 2008

No progress, really...

I had so many plans. I would start clearing out all the things that didn't matter, that had no meaning. Valuable? It would be sold. Valueless? It would be given or trashed.

But it's so hard. Everything is a memory and every breath of her is such a treasure to me. Marcie's every little thing is still in my home, and my heart is just sick over what I will do with it all.

I can't keep it. There is too much and I don't need it all. Too much furniture, too many knickknacks, too many clothes. Every single bit was brought here, into our little life, by her. Some of it is quite beautiful.

Even the not-so-beautiful things are emotionally loaded for me.

I tried to cheat on the whole thing a bit, to get our friends to take little bits of things as mementos, but to not much avail. I guess I am still way too raw.

I think this whole thing is complicated by the one thing that Marcie said to me that left a bad mark. She was mad that I could not move her into the front room and that she couldn't go for a walk. I was scared she would fall, and her legs were too weak to even raise, much less walk.

"You are just going to shake me off and move on when I die," she said, glaring and accusative. "You're just going to shed me like a skin forget I ever happened after this, aren't you?"

She was not in her right mind, and she quickly soothed me when she saw how much it hurt. But it stuck in my head and cut deeply, because regardless all of that, people do not say such things unless they believe them on some level.

So I look at all her old medication, her clothes, her unopened, unworn gifts from her birthday, and all the stuff I have left in place in our room. Then I look away ashamed for wanting it to be gone.

I know I want to send much of it off. I know I want to sell the stuff that could help pay for her trip, and I know I want to give much of it away. I want to empty this big house and just keep the most essential things, but I cannot.

I want to keep every scrap with her writing and every picture, every book she touched and was touched by and every CD and song her heart sang to. I want to have only those things most "her." But I keep the junk and the clutter, too.

I guess what is in the way is that I am afraid that if I do pare it all down, the dreams will stop, the emptiness will grow and her presence will fade in my heart.

Worse, I wonder if sometimes, when I am lonely or when I chat with someone I realize is quite attractive, I am not living up to her lowest expectations of me.

Either way, it all hurts.


Lana Banana said...

when my dad died, i remember wanting to keep everything that was his. i wanted to keep everything he'd ever touched (especially his clothes).

when the police came and brought us the things that were left in his car after the accident, i wanted to keep it all, even though most of it had been broken in the impact from the crash.

his glasses, shattered in two; his watch, cracked across the face . . . no matter, i wanted it all. every little thing meant something to me, no matter how morbid or small or trivial it seemed.

i tried piecing him back together from the material scraps he'd left behind . . .

for years after his death, i slept in my father's pjs, long after his scent had gone . . . i'd wear his watch, hold his broken glasses to my face, run my fingers across his worn wallet . . .

little by little, however, over the last almost 20 years, i got rid of most of his things. in fact, my last remaining memento was a book he gave me for christmas/birthday (i was born on x-mas, so they're one and the same for me) when i was nine . . . the prophet by gibran . . .

i read it and read it and read it and read it and read it . . . and i would find him in the pages and talk with him. and sometimes i wouldn't even read it, but rather just hold it close to my heart . . .

and then, just last month, i lost it.

it's a long story--one with which i will not bore you--but suffice to say that the book is gone.

i grieved, francis.

i grieved the loss of that book as though i had lost him all over again. i was raw.

and then, last week, i talked with my friend, jz, who helped me put some of my grief into perspective . . .

he said that my father had not so much given me the book, a thing, but rather he had intended to give me the wisdom represented by the book . . .

i am butchering his words to me, but the gist of it our conversation was that the most important things you can hold on to from someone you've lost, are, not their material possessions, not the worldly belongings, which fade and turn to dust with time, but rather the feelings, the memories, the love . . . those things that never fade, never tarnish, never lose their meaning, worth, or beauty . . .

i hope you know that i share my story with you only because i am trying to commiserate, though i know i can never really share your pain.

i am so deeply sorry about your loss, francis . . . you're in my thoughts/prayers.