His Warm Clothes

I headed out driving to the library on this beautiful summer morning, and I saw the small bag of my late husband’s nylon sports shirts sitting on the seat beside me where I put them to remind me to take them to the Goodwill drop off site. I had tried a couple days before but found I couldn’t release the last of his clothes just yet, almost like it was symbolic of letting go of the last of his physical presence, or his dna, or whatever was still him. I know it seems ridiculous that shirts could take on that meaning, but so much of his belongings have, and I felt like I didn’t know when it would be the “right time” to just force myself to do, you know what I mean?.

So, I decided to ask Jack to give me a sign to help me decide if it was time. He always used to say simple things to me to help me feel grounded with his common sense. Even before I could finish the question mentally, the song came on the radio “If It Makes You Happy” by Bad Grammar. Funny thing, he always needed help editing his books because he said he had bad grammar. And the answer was perfect. I reached into the bag to grab a hold of a handful of that warm nylon and instantly knew I wasn’t ready… that there was no need to force myself to do what was so painfully challenging, symbolically or otherwise. The right time will come, and I will be ready when it makes me happy to give his things away. Until then, I am happy to have them to comfort me.

As the months progress since my husband died and the grief gets “processed’, I gradually absorb the changes into a new normal. I’ve learned so much about how we all have the right to find our unique way of working through those changes. Whenever I’m asked a question that infers I “should” be in a grieving widows group, or seeing a counselor, or whatever is implied I’m not doing, I politely let them know I’m handling it, and discovering how strong I am. Besides, I’m not alone. I have good friends and family that check in on me daily, and my husband’s spirit gives me unexpected but timely signs so often. Also, I’m learning how to zone into an alpha state allowing the chatter in my mind to be “meditated away”. When I do, I trust I’m getting messages from him that I wouldn’t have thought of and related to something that just happened. My knowing the messages are from him comes from the fact that the comments that come into my head are always colored with his unique wit, and they unexpectedly make me laugh. I feel so blessed that he’s helping me know he never left.

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