I went through your clothes last week. Closets and drawers filled with things I haven't been able to deal with until now. I sorted them into piles and boxed them up, sending some to charity and some to a dark closet where I won't have the daily reminder they're no longer worn. It was hard to go through them and yes, the memories flooded in as expected for each t-shirt or funky pants or cute little dress I knew you had worn. I'd been putting this off, staring at them from time to time as I hunted through the closet for some old t-shirt of my own, never willing to move them or make any changes to this sort of shrine to what was. I had found such comfort in this for a long time, things kept just as you left them. Shoes left in the same spot on the floor for 10 months. I would simply pick them up to sweep under them, placing them back where I thought they belonged. Did I half expect you to come in and ask me where I'd put them? Maybe. I didn't dare move them, just in case.
But it was time. It became harder to walk into the closet and see them there, a constant reminder. I can't move forward if I'm holding on to the past and I know the only way I can continue this journey is to let go. It's not just you I was boxing up, but it was me as well. Clothes and shoes and pieces of me.
It's not so simple. It's not just sorting clothes. It's painful steps again, reminding me of those early months when I walked the world in a deep fog. I know I'm not escaping memories by packing them up, I know there will always be reminders of you, but I carry them differently now. I am different now. Not stronger, not better, not free of pain from the loss, just different.
I think you would understand.