“How do you do this death thing? It’s been two weeks since his funeral and his suits still hanging in the closet. I look at them and remember when each was worn; there’s the funeral suit, the anytime suit and the suit I told him to save when he wanted to give it to the Salvation Army.
How do you do it? His war recognitions I’ll keep, that’s for sure and his two sets of cuff links. Pictures of us I’ll store, just for me now. There’s that stupid picture on the wall that he loved but I never liked, but now that he’s gone I like. Keep it or dump it? Salvation Army or Goodwill?
Decisions. It’s the decisions that bog you down in your head when it’s the love that keeps him alive. “It’s the smell,” I think to myself. I’ll keep the cheap cologne he loved. I don’t know why but those tiny sniffs bring him into the bathroom with me. Oh, and all of those newspapers that he saved because he loved one article. Toss them all? Didn’t he think of using a scissors and just save the one article? He wasn’t like that. He loved to save and now I have his savings surrounding me. It’s only been two weeks.
Shouldn’t I wait a year? Wow, that’s a long time from my time to walk past “that” or run into “this” or be reminded of that/this when I remember. Remembering. What a wonderful gift for our wonderful times but what a haunting memory. I can’t remember simple things when I want to but things about him are crystal clear in my mind and heart.
How do you do it? The beauty salon magazines offers me a list of ten things (always ten!) and I laugh at each one reading them as though the writer thought I’d be a whole person again after completing the ten bullet points.
Whole. I now continue my life with a life I’ve only know with him. Continue. Continue what? It’s the simple pieces that remain but never the whole which is now gone. It’s those remaining fragments surrounding me while forgetting his pain toward the end that is now over. “Think ahead,” says good meaning friends and I smile until I get home and pass the suits and the whiff of his now-gone scent.
Salvation Army or Goodwill? Don’t I some dice in the house? Does it really matter if it’s meant to rid me of him and dress another? The tenth point of all the beauty salon magazines ends with me feeling better about myself. Was the point of my marriage and now his death to feel good about myself? I disagree. If I felt good with him in life then I can feel good again with him in his death. And I mean “with him.”
“Feeling good.” I don’t want to feel good. I want to feel loved and needed and believe it or not, I still do. “Feeling good.” I feel good in my unpredictable tears and wandering thoughts over forty years. He’s gone but not forgotten. I don’t want to forget and I don’t care about “feeling good.”
I’ll keep the suit I like and the cologne but I still can’t decide between Salvation Army or Goodwill. That decision will eventually come but the memories of him and his smilingly love for me lasts a lifetime.”
Books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS. on Amazon include:
“Living Faith’s Mysteries”
“Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings”