Within an hour, Peter’s stuff will be leaving. My family has all kept some of his stuff, but the other, the whatchamacallits, the thingamajigs and the whatsits will all be gone. All of the doodads, all the broken down furniture, all the need-to-be-fixed equipment, all the materials for a a project never fulfilled, will be gone today, and my heart is heavy.
I was excited at first, and part of me still is. Purging things I will never use and only take up space, so much space is necessary now, to me. To live among the long strips of wood that were once crown molding in my living room, or the PVC pipes saved for possible use in the garden, or the broken futon Peter was one day going to fix, is claustrophobic to me. It is stuff that clutters a space I am either going to sell or live in.
Peter had a creative, engineering mind that boggled me. He did actually recycle much of the materials to create amazing things. The man built a dismantling scaffolding to paint the top of our stairs, and a three tier vegetable garden to achieve the right water flow. He built shelves in the garage and a futon for my birthday. He knew what he was doing. I am sure everything he kept had a purpose or was part of a vision he held for those one days. The problem is there will never be a ‘one day’ for him. The problem is I can’t even glimpse into a mind like his, no matter how hard I tried. And so, I have to get rid of it. I have to get rid of his stuff, his visions, his projects-for-the-future, and that hurts me more than I though it would.
I hired a junk company who will go through the stuff to donate or recycle what they can which eases my mind. And yet, today, as I see the world of Peter leave me for a final time, my heart will break a little. I know I’ll cry. I always cry. I’m not second-guessing my decision. I think once it’s all gone and I let go of all my emotions – in a hour, a day, a week, a month, however long it takes – it’ll be okay, perhaps even freeing. I have no emotional attachment to any of the stuff leaving today, not really. Not like the attachment I have to my wedding ring, or photographs, or his love letter to me. I don’t hold the same emotion to a piece of plywood or deflated basketballs then I do to the souvenir turtle he bought on one of our vacations. Still, the stuff serve as reminders of who Peter was, why he was so special to me. They tell stories of his creativity, his brilliance, his want to always have a project. Releasing all of it is going to be painful.
What I am finding out this morning is the meaning and the memories attached have set me back to a hard grief. But I know I have to let go. I know holding on will crowd me and I’ll want to run without know where or how far. After all the stuff is gone, I’ll be able to sit and think, in a house emptied out. In this empty and new canvas, I can start painting my own life, without him. I know I need to let go. And I know Peter would want for me to let go. It was his stuff, his ideas and now, along with him, they are dead. I can’t hold onto the once was and still move toward the here-I-come.
Some have suggest it’s too soon. Others said they would have walked away a lot sooner. I only know me. And even though it won’t be easy for me this morning, letting go never is, I know, to the depth of me, it is my time to release what I need to.