When the above fire broke out behind my house just a few weeks after Lance passed (actually the day after Lance’s birthday), I thought “Okay, this might actually push me over the edge.” As thousands were on a pre-evacuation warning, it beckoned the question “What would I take?” I know people always say pictures…but I was thinking letters…which I had just come across a box full of letters Lance and I had written each other over the years.
After the fire was no longer a threat and the slight sense of panic resided, it made me want to purge…like crazy. I started asking myself, “How would I feel if I lost this in a fire?” and if I wouldn’t miss it, I’ve been donating or tossing it. It’s been a good exercise for me because I realized how replaceable most things are. I’m not saying I wouldn’t be slightly traumatized if my house burned down but I realize that very little I have matters…beside my kids and dog. I mean I already had that lesson over the year but now I felt the need to do something about all the “stuff.” I thought about when you die you leave all these material things behind so why are they so important in this life? When Lance and I would go on our big trips to Asia, we would bring very little and I never missed a thing.
People sometimes ask me what I’ve been doing. Now you know. My sister and I filled three big bags of my clothes and I immediately gave them away. My friend Tiphaine and I practically took shovels into my kids bedroom and cleaned out their room. Every drawer, closet, and room in the house and eventually my attic is getting the big purge and it feels really really good. I’m recruiting more friends to continue the process and for anyone who wants to go at it in my garage is welcome.
I’ve always been a purger (my sisters would disagree but that’s because they are minimalist) but this particular time it feels extremely freeing and cleansing and clearing and just opening up the energy for new beginnings. I am not saying I am ready to move on…but I am willing to do anything and everything that helps me along in this process. I don’t want to be weighted down with stuff. There’s something about uncluttering, freeing the energy, not holding onto stuff….literally and figurtively. It’s amazing the amount of stuff that accumulates.
In case you are wondering if I have gone through Lance’s stuff, my initial reaction was not to touch a thing just in case he came back (I mean he did really look like Jesus when he died) but realized that’s not exactly moving on. I do a little bit here and there and I am trying not to feel too attached to his belongings. I’ve realized that I’ve got the best of him in my kids and his ever present spirit. So far I’ve gone through his clothes and have given the majority of them to his friends and family. I realized I wanted to spread him around and see his friends wearing his clothes and that would make me happy. I kept some ratty beloved t-shirts and sleep with one every night. My kids also kept a collection of his favorite t-shirts and wear them to bed or in Amélie’s case…all the time.
I’m saving the letters for a rainy day.
In the meantime, I’m purging. I encourage you all to do it too. It’s unbelievable addicting and liberating.