Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Sorting

Sorting it Out
Originally uploaded by lomoeye

Today was the beginning of the sorting through Michael's things. All my worry, and it is going well. My mother-in-law arrived early this afternoon. We hopped into my car and drove to my storage unit. We figured we might as well start there. Michael only had a few boxes in our storage unit, but it gave me an opportunity to get out of the house for awhile.

I could tell my mother-in-law was wanting me to take the lead, so I started with the first box. It was actually lots of fun going through Michael's things with her. Michael led such a full life, full of travel. One box was full of wonderful cookbooks. The only problem was that they were in Russian, French, and Norwegian. Oh well, the pictures were great. As planned, I wanted to her to have most of the things Michael had collected from his years before me. In spite of this she kept checking in to be sure that I was not giving away items I might want.

We then moved on down to the bedroom where I keep all of Michael's photo albums and personal items. This was the first time that Michael's mother had been down to our bedroom since the day he died. Up till now she has chosen not to visit our room. Today I asked if she would feel comfortable being in there. She thought it would be okay for her. I'll tell you, for me it was nice. We had spent so much time there with Michael this summer, taking turns attending to his needs. Today we went through his many photo albums. I had previously gone through them with Michael, and after his death by myself. Today it was a new experience listening to her stories and memories that went with the various pictures. After going through these we decided that this was enough for the day.

I'm finding that I had worried far too much about this. There is plenty of Michael all around me. There are plenty of memento's to go around. In the end, many of the items will stay here in my home for now. It just helps to know which things will eventually go to Michael's mother's home, and which I will retain.

My best friend, Peg, called me this afternoon to check in and see how the whole sorting process was going. She said I sounded remarkable well, not what she was expecting. Maybe I just got myself worked up about the process. Maybe it is easier knowing that most his things are staying here for now. Maybe it will hit me later. I think it will be alright.

In the end, I think I am realizing that I already have so much of Michael, that his "things" are not going to be the most difficult to sort through. With each day I'm finding that there are far deeper things to sort through. I have my thoughts and feelings about my life with Michael. I have the difficult first year of anniversaries. I have my new role as a widower, and how I relate to the outside world. Most of all I have to sort out how I get through each day without him. I have to sort out being true to my grief, with moving forward with my life.

Lots to sort.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent reflection and realization that the "stuff" is going to end up being the least difficult of what needs to be sorted through. We focus on the tangibles because they are in front of us and we can see them. Our inside storage sheds are going to be what really go through the overhaul.

    I'm so glad to know that this experience turned out better than expected for you. Maybe it was because the process was being started around the time of Micheal's birthday that it was more emotional to envision.