This is Day 2 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.
My husband ran a wild, chaotic business where he bought and sold things. He had never been a very organized person, and it drove me crazy going to his warehouse and wading through the boxes, watching him frantically look for a marker, or a pair of scissors when I know he has bought at least 20 of each over the last few months. I tried to help him get organized, but he seem to take great offense at it - like I was criticizing him, when in reality, I just wanted to help him have a little more calm and order so that he could run his business more efficiently.
The first 2 months after he died, I had to clean out his entire warehouse and shut down his business. When I look back on those months, I am shocked that I accomplished so much (and definitely could not have accomplished all I did without the incredibly generous help of many, many, many people). My husband's warehouse was not just his business, it was also his art studio, costume shop, alchemical lab, and leather crafting space. What I did not sell or give away, I brought back to our tiny house, where it all has been sitting in piles and boxes and stacks.
|Some of my husband's "After Life Coaching" as my friend Kevin named it.|
Every week, I have been tackling one box. Since my husband was so incredibly chaotic, every box has a wild assortment of stuff stuck in it - from receipts, to vintage glass bottles, to a fully taxidermied fox. Sometimes the boxes have personal letters, or journals in them, and when I find these I am gutted. The air leaves my lungs suddenly and I fall to the floor in a sobbing heap of loss and grief. My husband wrote in his journal every single day, and I have his journals that go all the way back to middle school. I feel strange reading them - he was so private, and would have been enraged if I had ever read them without his permission. But he is gone now, and reading his words and mystical musings make me smile and cry and miss him even more. He was a true spiritual seeker, and he often wrote about his ideas about life and death and God. My friend Kevin calls these pieces of ephemera "After Life Coaching," which couldn't be more perfect.
So today, Day 2 of my #6MonthsofGrief Project, I spent sorting and organizing. I sat on my little knitted hassock and I sorted screws and nails and needles and threads. I counted 15 hammers, 27 pairs of scissors and more permanent markers than any one woman should own. I have laughed and cried and felt like I couldn't go on. Tomorrow morning is the New Moon, and it makes sense that I would be pulled to do this work today. The New Moon always asks me to clear things our and start again.
|Chaos before Order|
There is a certain kind of empowerment in finally being able to make order out of the chaos that he lived in every day - the chaos he often forced me to live in. Please know, there is almost nothing I would not do to have him back in my arms, but part of the complicated feelings of being a widow is finally getting to do things like this. Finally getting to make order out of the chaos. Maybe it gives me the much needed illusion that I am in control of my life. Maybe sorting all these stupid nails into similar sizes gives me a chance to think that my life will some day make sense again. A life without him. A life on my own.
And since I am very aware that this project can bring up a lot around yours or other's grief and loss, I will always follow every post some online grief support resources that have helped me. Please feel free to let me know of online support that you have found healing in your grief, as well:
- The poetry of John O’Donohue
Thank you, and see you tomorrow.