Check out my honors! (Click on the badges to see other great blogs too)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Time capsule...

I've heard it said that your house reflects your state of mind and this is so true for me. I used to be pretty organized and now there is clutter on every surface because I can’t focus long enough, or care enough to put things in their proper place. My thoughts are jumbled and chaotic- never staying in one place for long. I want to get organized and clear the clutter, but I can’t find the energy. The other way this house reflects my state of mind is that I think of Andie all the time, and I haven't changed one thing in this house since he died. Having him on my mind all the time is probably why I don’t want to change anything, or maybe because I haven’t changed anything is why I think of him all the time. The proverbial chicken or the egg? I don’t know. I just can’t believe that this is my life- I don’t know how this happened to me. So most of the time I pretend that it didn't, that he's going to come home soon, that this is all just a bad dream.

I feel a tension and irritability well up inside me when I'm in this house. I don’t feel it when I'm sitting at the lake and I didn’t feel while on vacation, and I wonder if it’s a sign that I should start fresh. Close the door on this house and all it holds, and start new. I've considered building a new house on our land, or trying to find a small house on the lake to move to. I mentioned this to Mom and my best friend the other day and they suggested I make some changes here first to see if that makes a difference and helps. Like rearrange furniture, redecorate, paint, etc. There is a visceral reaction deep inside me that is vehemenently opposed to this- though I hide that emotion from them at the time. Trying to be reasonable and hear them out. Later that evening Mom suggests cleaning things out, reorganizing, and maybe giving some of his things away to people who will find them meaningful/useful. I immediately cry when she brings this up- thinking about getting rid of his possessions cuts me to the quick. The thought of changing anything can reduce me to tears faster than almost anything else, which tells me I'm not ready.

The problem is that this house is like my time capsule. I don’t want anything to change no matter how small because to move things or get rid of things, especially things that were his would feel like erasing him and I don’t want to feel like he didn’t exist. I want proof that he was here and left his mark. His hat collection still hangs in the entry hall, his uniform shirts are pressed and hanging in the closet as though he will come home to wear them, his handcuffs, keys, pens, etc. are all where he left them on the valet. I don’t even want to throw his shoe polish away though I have absolutely no use for it. It's like anything he touched is sacred. I feel like the only way to truly hold on to him is to live inside the space he inhabited, touch the things he touched, breath the air he breathed, yet...
I want a change. I want a different life somewhere else, not a different life here. Because to change things here won’t make it better- just different. To get rid of his things or move them won’t erase the pain, but I’m afraid it will erase the memories. I don’t trust my mind to hold the memory of how things were so I want to preserve it all like a time capsule…so I can look back and know that my life with him was real. That I really had him for a time to call mine. That this all isn't an illusion.

I want to leave this place just as it is in my mind, so that when I look back in years to come I can open the time capsule in my mind and nod with comfort to myself,
"yes, yes...that is how it was. it all was true-the good and the bad."


  1. I love this post. I completely get it...even as I am making small changes here only 6 weeks later it feels like I am erasing him and the memories.

  2. I completely get this post, even at 22 months out. I really relate to your sentence "It's like anything he touched is sacred". His toothbrush still sits beside mine in our bathroom. But as time as moved on, I have had to make changes here so that his "stuff" isn't surrounding us and constantly rubbing in our face that he isn't coming home. I haven't gotten rid of anything, but I have put some things away. Just after the one year "anniversary" (I hate that word) I put away his clothes and wrote a post about it. I completely understand your desire to live somewhere different and preserve your time capsule. That isn't an option for us, but I sure wish the same thing sometime. I hope you find a solution that works for you.

  3. I'm hanging on every word of this post... when I'm in my home Its simultaneously comforting and heartbreaking all at the same time. I can't imagine staying and I definitely can't imagine leaving. It feels like nowhere is right for me to be, because home is with him and he's gone ...

  4. I moved within 6 months of being widowed, wanted a new start on everything (new town, friends, job, etc). I'm really glad I did, went against everyone and what "experts" say. I had to get into a place where I can manage the weather, (lack of) yard, home, etc by myself...the house we had was ours, not mine. I don't regret the change. I had more in common with my single friends than my married friends (although had kids which separated me from the single friends). So, I just recommend you do what your heart tells you too, you'll make the right decision. My late husband's items just take on new form, new displays around the new house, but still there to remind me of all the good times/feelings.