A couple weeks ago I decided to go through my clothes. It was supposed to be a simple chore that would take me 30 minutes or so, and then I could move on with my day. It ended up rocking my world for the rest of the day. I was totally unprepared for the grief that came up as I pulled out t-shirts and other clothes that I had forgotten I had. The Philadelphia T-shirt I bought at the airport just a week before Greg’s death. Greg got one too. The M&M T-shirt I got in Vegas when we went on a family trip. My completely holey T-shirt that says “I Love Boys That Recycle”. Greg always thought it was hilarious that I kept it. I couldn’t bare to get rid of any of my clothes. It was such a strange experience. I usually enjoy purging things, but this time I was frozen. I kept it all. I didn’t want to get rid of any of my old life. Those clothes are part of what is left of my old life. The life that is over.
I’ve been thinking about that experience a lot the past couple weeks. My life now isn’t completely different. I still have my kids, the house, my job, my friends, etc. But it still feels like a new life. My old life centered around Greg. He affected every aspect of that life. And now, his absence affects every aspect of my new life. There is a lot of sadness about saying goodbye to an old life. The more time that goes by, the more I long for it. I still live in that life a lot, trying to remember what it was like. That’s part of grief.
When my old life ended, a new one began. I haven’t fully embraced this life yet. I am working on that. I can see that it is a life with so many opportunities and so much to explore. I get to choose what this new life looks like, and it is an exciting prospect in a way. I hope that years down the road, I will be able to point out all the great things about my new life with excitement. It’s sad to say goodbye to my old life, but excited to find all the new adventures and opportunities that my new life will bring.