starting a new chapter
Marriage & Divorce

After Loss, Starting a New Chapter

Following her husband’s death, Lore Powell, PRiME contributor, kept a journal she refers to as “The Grief Project.” She is graciously allowing us to share her entries with our readers. You can begin with her first essay here

Today marks a new chapter in my life. In fact, I would argue that every morning we get to plant our feet on the bedroom floor, we are starting a new chapter in our life, but I say that because all the self-help books I’ve been reading, tell me to say that. In one book, the author suggests I begin each day with a few moments of meditation, reciting all the reasons to be happy and grateful.

Depending on the day, I can get very desperate and start looking around the room for clues. “I am grateful for Pier One Imports and my ever evolving line of credit.”  “I am grateful for the room freshener since Cece ate too much string cheese yesterday.”  I know I have much more to be grateful for, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy.

Some days I am not a meditating, peaceful women who has accepted her pain and has rejoiced in her blessings. Some days, I am simply pissed off. Today is one of those days. And do you know why I’m pissed off, Mr. Self Help, I can make anyone happy if they buy my book and meditate their way to Nirvana?????

Hanging On

Because yesterday, I spent the better part of a beautiful spring day, in the closet I used to share with my husband, lovingly folding each of his shirts and pants, then shoving them in a black garbage bag so some stranger can come in a truck and take away what I have left of his smell and his life. Before yesterday, each morning when I would walk in the closet to grab my robe…his robe would be there. At night, when I grabbed my t-shirt and pajama bottoms, I would look at his sweatshirts and flannels. Each day, I was comforted just a little that his clothes were there, so he really wasn’t “gone.” But, he is gone, and you can only fool yourself so long before you realize that you aren’t healing so much as you are hanging on for dear life.

Letting Go

So I packed up his stuff and threw it in the garage, and laughed a little because I had threatened to do that several times when he was alive. Mostly, I reminisced. It was a good time to recall some of our better days, by remembering what he wore. How he looked in a particular shirt, the pants that he still hadn’t had altered, (“I’ll get to it…What’s the rush?”) the coat that he swore I threw out by accident, wrapped in plastic fresh from the cleaners, but hidden from view. Mostly I remembered what it was like to get a hug from a big bear in a flannel shirt. It was my favorite thing to do. He was always warm, and I was always cold.

Starting a New Chapter

But he is gone and I’m still here, starting a new chapter, so, “Dusty, I’m taking my damn closet back, thank you very much, AND I’m keeping two of your favorite sweatshirts…you know the ones I would have to bring outside to you or hide in the car because you would never admit you were cold??? AND the rush for getting your pants altered was apparently because I would never get to see you in them AND I did not accidentally throw away your coat, it was shoved behind all the other crap you unloaded in the closet.”

P.S.  I still love you.

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