Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Stepping Into the Unknown

Monday, October 17, 2016
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Stepping Into the Unknown
Last weekend, I had an impromptu garage sale. My neighbor was having one, and I decided to capitalize on his traffic in an effort to get rid of the “someday” garage sale pile I had neatly stacked in the corner of my garage. This was a collection of the last of the remnants of Joe’s things, the odds and ends or specialty items that had not sold at previous attempts, but that were worth something if “I could only find the right person looking for them.” I didn’t stress out about setting up or how it would go, I literally decided on a Friday at 7pm that I was going to throw together a few tables of stuff, and go for an “any offer entertained” type of mentality.
I did well with the sale, and ended up with only a few boxes of odds and ends things I didn’t sell. I donated what I could, and tossed the rest. I didn’t feel guilty or stress over it, or break down crying about the value, or agonize the significance of how they were his and he wasn’t here anymore. It felt liberating and scary at the same time. I was surprised by my lack of guilty feelings, as every other time it made me feel badly that I had gotten rid of pieces of his existence. I had put myself in a self-imposed state of judgment about how I wasn’t having feelings I thought I should be, but I stopped and thought about how dumb that really was, and how no one had the right to judge me, especially ME. 
Things are things, but they are still a link to him in a physical way. When I think about how long it has been since I have seen him, touched him, heard his voice….it boggles the mind. Those things were a way for me to remember he was here, but they are things. And as much as I struggle with parting with them, it’s just another small way in which I have let go of my past, and tried to forge a new future. I have spent the last week rearranging the garage yet again, organizing it in a way that I prefer, making space, purging, and making it “mine.” My son now parks his car in the garage in addition to mine, a feat that was next to impossible before I started the series of downsizing garage saIes have done over the last few years. It makes me both sad and happy to have the space. Like most things we widowed folks have to face, there are many facets to observe and acknowledge as we get one day further from the day we lost our loves. It is hard to accept that when move one step away, or take one step forward- it is the same exact step, but from two different vantage points. So as I drove out of the drive way with the last of his stuff, and my son happily drove his car into its new parking spot, I took a deep breath, as I have done many times before, and looked forward, and back, while standing still in the moment. I didn’t agonize or judge myself about what I did or didn’t feel, I just took a step in a new direction, letting the old change once again.

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