Since Ian died, my house became kind of a shrine to him, or a repository for stuff of his… in disorganized piles, things here, there, everywhere that were his, or reminded me of him… It was a mess.
Add to that the fact that I didn’t really have enough counter/shelf space in my kitchen, and I hadn’t had any sort of idea of how to deal with that since I moved in, and my house was cluttered. And finally, since Ian’s death, I really have struggled with getting up the motivation to do any cleaning aside from the absolutely necessary.
All these things together meant my house was embarrassing to me. It wasn’t disgusting (mostly), and it was livable. But I felt like a loser.
That changed this weekend, when my roommate and best friend from college came into town. This woman is the perfect mix of energy, empathy, emotional stability, and enthusiasm. She not only gave me the motivation to do things, but she came in and did some with me. She pulled things out, put things away, grabbed the random stuff and said, hey, let’s put this where it makes more sense.
She also helped me figure out what to do with some of Ian’s stuff. Now I have two usable tables. The boxes and other crap that were sitting in my front room are gone. We hung up the moose head, and she dubbed it Johnson, which I think Ian would find endlessly amusing.
Now my house is still filled to the brim with things that were his, or remind me of him, but rather than being in messy piles that I just look at and sigh, they’re organized. She even swept my floors, dusted, helped with dishes and cooking… and did something of slightly questionable moral standing to help me out… It was amazing.
I know that if I’d asked, any number of people would have come and helped me out with this stuff. The thing was, I couldn’t ask. Mostly, because, as she said, when I thought about it, it turned into something much bigger than it was. If I’d asked someone to help me come and sweep, that would have meant I had to figure out where these things went, filed stuff first, moved things around, and… and… and… which made it impossible.
That, to me, is one of the hardest things about grief. I knew I needed some sort of help. I knew that I wasn’t going to do it on my own. But I had NO IDEA what to ask for. I had no clue what would work. Even thinking about trying to figure it out to explain to someone was way more than I could imagine, so I just lived with it.
I have wonderful people in my life. I get to see a lot of them next week. I saw one of them this weekend.
I still miss Ian terribly. Every day. Almost every minute. I want to share things with him. I want him HERE, damnit.
But at least now, I don’t sigh when I see his things. Now I can relax and just be glad they’re here.
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