It’s been eight months.
I plan to clean out the bathroom today. All the shelves and all the drawers.
It’s been on my to-do list for over a week. I keep “arrowing” it over to the next day. And then the next.
But I think today is the day.
And to be fair, 75 percent of the stuff is mine. That’s normal, right?
A razor. Some soap. Deoderant. He was a simple man. He didn’t require much.
I’ve moved his cologne to my dresser. That stays.
The bathroom is cluttered and in need of a deep cleaning anyways (I keep telling myself that.)
Clutter is heavy. I don’t want carry it anymore. There is already enough to carry.
This morning, as I thought about going through all those personal items, holding each one in hand as I decide its fate, I had a good cry.
I’m okay with that. Almost every day has tears at some point.
They have become friends. We meet over coffee, lunch, often at dinnertime.
We have even become traveling companions; they love to visit while I’m driving.
I don’t push them away. They are good friends.
They bring healing and release.
I keep procrastinating some of these chores, but seriously, not cleaning out the bathroom or his dresser or his closet… what does that accomplish?
Delaying… waiting… won’t bring him back.
It’s taken me awhile to work that out in my head.
I know it sounds crazy, but grief is anything but sane.
Doing or not doing. Thriving or languishing. He’s not coming back.
At times, that hard cold fact still punches me in the gut; like a news flash that pops up in my brain every few days.
Alert! Breaking news! He’s Not Coming Back!
So today, I take another step in this new life of mine.
A bathroom of my own. Just what every woman wants, right?
Cynicism. Not pretty.
But today is just hard. Actually May and June have been kind of brutal.
Mother’s Day. My birthday. Our anniversary is mid-week and next week begins with Father’s Day.
That “clutter” is heavy too.
I’m feeling weary. Tired.
I think before I begin the big chore of the day, I’ll take a few minutes to chat with God.
About all this. All the clutter. Everything.
This mess of mine.
We are finally on speaking terms again. Him and me.
That’s taken me awhile to work that out as well.
Journaling has become deep work between the two of us.
I unload all the chaos onto the page. Everything.
The good, the bad, the whys and hows. I tell him I don’t understand.
Daily the ink protests my new life.
When the pages are full, I allow my tears to drop and puddle into the words. I lay the brazen pen down and just listen.
God? What say you?
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” — Psalm 56:8
Can you see it?
I can sometimes… I see him pick up every scrap I throw down, and examine it closely. Catching every tear… maybe shedding a few of his own? In sorrow he gently places all the pieces, all the inky tears, in the bottle… and tucks it into his robe.
And he carries the clutter for me. All of it.
I wonder if the bottle holds the answers to my tears as well. Will he sit with me one day; pour the contents out, as we talk about it all… one teardrop at a time?