Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Letting Go And Moving On

The last few months I have been pondering letting go of some items I have around the house that have ties to Barry, and the life we lived together.
  • Our bed frame that we bought when we were first married
  • Our Christmas Tree
  • The Roses from the arrangements that my friend Lisa made for me for his memorial service
And that just names a few of them, well, the items that are weighing most heavily on my mind.

Our Christmas Tree we bought when the twins were just 10 months old.  It is 7.5 feet tall, 5 feet wide at the base and is just huge. It has lived in 6 houses, this one being the sixth. It has been set up for 9 Christmases, and held many years of ornaments.  Has had hundreds of Christmas gifts under it.  Has been piled with candy canes, and cursed at for being difficult to put up. Barry even made us a diagram after Christmas 2008 so we would remember how to do it.  You'd think after so many years we would remember, but we did not.  But now it is leaning a bit to the side.  The box was so torn up and taped up, that last year I bought a bag for it. I have to string the lights myself and it is a very tedious job.  So this year I am getting a new tree, with pre-strung lights.

But what do I do with the old tree? Do I keep it in the bag its in for years down the road? When Barry and I bought it, he said we'd get the biggest tree possible so that we wouldn't have to buy another one for YEARS. He picked it out.  So have 9 years been enough? Should I make this the 10th year it is up?

I feel like change is needed.  I want a new tree, and will buy one, but I just don't know what to do with the old one. I feel wrong getting rid of it.  But I don't want it to clutter up my garage.  I'm all about streamlining lately, and have been getting the urge to declutter and purge again.

Now I have the roses from Barry's memorial service, dried, in my closet.  Why have I kept them? I dried them all, and they sit in a basket out of sight.  I don't want them anymore.  I have no use for them.  But to throw them away would, again, make me feel guilty.  Almost like I don't respect him anymore, that I don't value the memory of that day.

Lastly is our bed frame. This I struggle getting rid of the most. We actually bought an entire bedroom set, and had matching dressers and a nightstand to go with it, which I gave to Habitat for Humanity before I moved. This was our wedding gift to each other. But the bed frame, that is special.  That is the baby making bed, where our family was started.  That bed has seen love, anger, sadness, fighting, laughing, lots of sex and making love.  It has seen everything.  And the night after Barry died, I laid in it, and woke up crying in my sleep at 5 AM.  It was the foundation of our marriage almost, and I have it in my garage right now, leaning against the wall.  I knew when I moved that I would keep it.  But here I am, almost seven months later and I don't want it anymore.  It is taking up space.  What the hell do I do with it?

Does all this mean I am moving on with my life? I don't want to "lose" Barry, so to speak.  I want to hold onto him forever.  But I can not keep all this "clutter" in my life.  Quite honestly, it stresses me out because I see more stuff taking up space.  And I do not want clutter.  I hate clutter. Yet with four children, it is nearly impossible to not have clutter, but I do my best.  And throw away crap I see lying around.  Anyway, I don't want to disrespect him.  I feel bad for wanting to get rid of all of it, especially the bed.  Its just though I don't need it anymore, I won't ever have a use for it unless one of the kids wants it when they move out of the house.  So do I hold onto it for another 10+ years? Hell no! But then there is just that tie to the bed, the one place I last laid with Barry, where I heard him snore and wanted to suffocate him, where we loved each other, and cuddled, and made love and had sex and laughed and fought.  There is so much to that bed.

I know these things don't represent him, our memories of him are in our hearts and our minds, but there are still things that he touched, things he fixed.  Hell, we were going to get rid of the whole bedroom set if we had moved to Pennsylvania anyway! I just feel like its so special now, that how could I possibly get rid of it?

I just don't know what to do.  I want it, yet I don't want it.  I need to move on, and I am afraid these things are holding me back from doing so.


Kalei's Best Friend said...

If u want to keep them, keep them..are they taking up that much room? I use to keep my husband's urn out ( in my bedroom) 5 years ago, one day I just decided to put it away in the drawer of my nightstand...a sign of moving on does not mean u get rid of or put away.. to me its all in your actions- whether u are happy, doing new things,etc.

Rina the Mama Bear said...

If it were me, I would photograph the roses and put the picture in the memoir books I know you've probably got going.

The tree - if its still in reasonable shape, donate it to a thrift store or family shelter. I don't mean to sound so blase about it but when you look at it, what's the first thing you think of? The impression I'm getting from your post is that its a pain in the butt to set up, decorate and store - yes, it has so many good memories for you and the kids but I'm sure you have oodles of pictures of it, and you shouldn't keep it around if it adds to your stress level. I like the pre lit tree idea.

The bed. That's a tough one. If you aren't using it (you aren't, right? You bought a new set?), I would store it in case one of the kids wants or needs it one day. You know how poor young adults can be when they're moving out on their own for the first time, or first would be a tremendous gift to give them the bed that their Mom and Dad shared. At least, I'd think so.

This is all so hard, I can't even imagine...but if these things are stressing you out and causing you pain, don't feel bad about dealing with them how you see fit.


Heather said...

Wanting to declutter is not disrespectful to his memory, and you need to do what's healthiest for your sanity! Here are my suggestions:

1. Roses: Photograph them alone, and then maybe with each of you and your kids holding one of them. Then, do something ceremonious with them. Take them to one of Barry's favorite places and rip the petals off and throw them around.

2. Tree: Donate to a women's shelter or somewhere else where it can be enjoyed and bring happiness to others.

3. Bed: I don't think you should keep it or get rid of it. I think you should find a local craftsman or carpenter and see if s/he can do something else with the wood. Maybe they could make you a cool piece of wall art? Or a little bench? Something that takes up less space and can be useful or decorative, and then you can still look at it and have all of the memories.