Trying to think outside the boxes

So, I have two weeks before Matt’s belongings are taken away. And time waits for no-one, let alone his family.

So today I made a start, while Tash is here to help me get things out of the roof, which is tricky in our house. I think I’ve now probably made my way through about 25% of it. Getting boxes and boxes of his stuff down from the roof. Getting various other stuff down with them. Finding other bits and pieces from around the house to add into those boxes. There is still so much to do…

And it’s hideous. Putting his life, all of his things, the things that he’d kept that were precious to him, alongside all the detritus that we all accumulate that means nothing but is still ours… Going through everything, all his life, his history, our memories, putting it all into boxes, piled up box on box, and knowing that it is all leaving. It feels like I am being made to evict him from where he called home. Where we called home. Our home. It just hurts so much, and he would hate it. He would be so furious with how things have turned out, and are being dealt with, and where things are going. He would never have let anyone bully me like this…

But it has to be done, and doing all of that I just lost it. Lost it completely. To put your person, the person who meant everything to you, into boxes and then give those boxes away? It’s indescribable. I’m SO not ready, but I have no choice.

I did my best to get on with it, but I came to a bit where I’d done all I could cope with for today. I just had to stop, and get out of the house. I went and sat in a very quiet corner in the pub, just so that I would be forced to hold it together, to pull myself together and stop crying, because we’re British and we don’t do emotional in public. As it happens I met some friends up there briefly and talking to them really helped for a bit; it just brought me back to a bit more grounded, and got me out of my head. And they got it, and were there for me, and that meant the world. I am very grateful, even though they’ll probably never realise how much.

I have cried so much today that my contact lenses are clouded with salt and my sight is blurry, hence the marginally early night. Yes, I know it has to be done. Yes, it will be good to have a house less cluttered up by stuff. Yes, his kids should have mementos of their Dad, which I’ve never objected to. I get that. And conveniently Austin moved all his stuff out yesterday, which though painful, means there is space to pile up Matt’s stuff until that weekend comes. So that helps. Kinda.

But shortly it will all be taken away, and arbitrarily shared out, with no thought as to what he might have wanted, and then the leftovers disposed of by others if unwanted. Which is, again, just beyond words, and he’s not here to express his wishes.

But hey, at least another step will be over and done with, and I will be drawing a line under it and trying to find my way forwards afterwards, once I’ve recovered from the aftermath. I know it’s all just stuff really. I have all the things he bought for me, or gave to me, and all the things I bought for me him and gave to him – those I am allowed to keep. And all the memories I have are mine and ours and are priceless, and cannot be taken away, and that I will be holding on to, like flotsam after a shipwreck. Taking his stuff away doesn’t erase who we were and what we were to each other. That’s truth. That’s fact. And there’s comfort in that. Or discomfort if you happen to not like that but tough, it doesn’t stop it being true. I have a world of photos and messages and texts that say it all. I know what we were and how it was. And I miss it all more than words can say.

I have a lot more to get boxed up and sorted, which is going to take a lot more time, which is going to keep hurting, and so it’s going to be a really tough couple of weeks. I guess there’s going to be a whole heap more uncontrollable crying. Nothing new there then. But I will get it done, because it has to be done, and then this particular chapter will be over and done with, and behind me. Because that’s how it goes. Every day the sun comes up. So far my track record for getting through sh*tty days is 100%. And hopefully that will continue, right?

All too soon I will be home alone in my house, minus Austin’s stuff, minus all Matt’s stuff, with Tash back at uni. I’m guessing that is going to feel like a very very very empty nest. Nothing stands still…who knows what happens after that?

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