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  I received a response yesterday to my post “Tears in the Closet”.   My friend reminded me of the “extreme separation”, which are the words...

Tears in the Closet

Thursday, May 26, 2011
 I don’t know what it is about our closet, but I have had several meltdowns there these past 3 months. (This past Sunday was exactly 3 months since I last saw Michael.)  Maybe it is because it is such a quiet, private place.  It was a personal place, and still is.   It is where we would grab conversations while we were getting ready for church, date nights, or changing our clothes at the end of a day.  It is very tight quarters, so we had a choreography that was necessary for us both to get ready at the same time.  We would step in and out of the closet to ask an opinion on what we were choosing to wear.  We would fill each other in on what happened that day in our worlds.  Sometimes we would decompress with a glass of wine as we chatted in and out of the closet.  I always kept my side of the closet fairly neat, but his side of the floor was always scattered with shoes that had been worn and not returned to their shelves.  Without saying anything, I would periodically put all of the shoe horns back into them and place them neatly back on the shelves.  His shelf with his lounging pants always got messy too.  I would fold them all again and stack them back into their little spot on the shelf.  When he would change for bed that night, he would stick his head out of the closet and say, “The closet looks great!  Thanks, Babe!”  He appreciated and always noticed the little things that I would so around the house.

In his absence, the closet is a lonely place.  Because of that, I have allowed myself to make a big mess in there.  If I were to stand in a clean closet, with lots of space, I would feel his absence even more.  My shoes are all over the floor in a huge pile.  Getting dressed is not the same.  I no longer have his opinion of what would be the perfect outfit.  I wore what he liked, and I enjoyed it that way.  I felt prettier when I knew it was something that pleased him.  He had great taste and I always deferred to his opinion when I could not make up my mind.   

All of his clothes are just as he left them.  Every once in awhile, I enter the closet and just turn to stare at all of his clothes.  Sometimes I run my hand down the arms of his suit coats.  I  take a deep breath, give myself a moment, then turn back to my clothes.  A couple of days ago, I had experienced a different kind of grieving all day.  I had felt a huge silent void in my activities all day.  I could not put my finger on anything, but it was an overall ,”I need him today.”  That night, without any planning, I went into my closet, partially closed the door, and went straight to his dress shirts.  I put my hands on the shoulders of a bunch of them, leaned over, stuck my nose into the neckline, and moved my head as I took a deep breath.  I wanted to breathe in any bit of  his smell that I could find. To my surprise, it was all there.  It caught me off guard and I began to cry… hard.  The mixture of the smell of his skin and his cologne was just as it was when I would hug him when he would come home from work.   I leaned back against his clothes to cry and smelled the shirts a few more times.  It was so comforting to smell him. ( At that moment, I understood why people keep the clothing of their loved ones that have passed away. ) I cried for him.  I cried to God for help. I know he is in an amazing place and I am happy for him, but couldn’t God have given us something a little more tangible when our loved ones die than just hope and the knowledge of the everlasting life yet to come?   Is the extreme separation necessary?   Why are we allowed to love like this only for it to be taken away without knowing when it will be restored? I have always been able to handle the knowledge of the spiritual realm , but now that someone I loved is in that spiritual realm, it is hard to bear the separation between the two worlds.  After about ten minutes of crying, I felt a little better. My closet was still a secret, quiet place, but now in a different way.  It is me, God, and my memories of Michael.

I am thinking about purging and restoring order back to my side of the closet….it might make me feel good having it all back in order, and then again, it might not.  It would at least give the allusion that all is back to normal.  As everyone keeps telling, I am establishing a new normal in my life.


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