As much as I want to be “done’ with grieving, the realization that I am not hits rapidly and without warning.
Recently, I’ve increased the process of sorting through boxes and treasured items in an effort to attempt to get my house in Arkansas ready to sell. Mainly because I really don’t need two houses. Shocking, I know! Life is weird for everyone right now, so moving to Missouri has also become a little more complicated - even though remote work does solve one problem but not long term. Moving still makes sense but the timeline, a bit shaky?
And there are still many parts of Arkansas I enjoy.
Whatever the time frame, the process of sorting through items and purging is needed because, at some point, a move or change will happen. There are many layers to process even as I come to terms with the fact that this will be the first time I move anywhere without Josh.
Piece by piece, I find myself sorting through paperwork and books from his office, photos of us, mementos and items WE have owned for two-plus decades. What do I keep? I can’t keep everything? Or can I? Should I?
I don’t think so.
So bit by bit I go, trying to process what I should keep or toss. For example, I don’t need to keep every theology book or every note Josh wrote. In the sorting process, though, I continually uncover treasured items like a journal entry or random, “I love you” note. My kitchen still contains cards from people letting us know they were praying for healing and a good treatment plan last year. These are hard to read . . . again.
I even found the original paper where Josh wrote the chapters of the book he hoped to write someday titled, “Memoirs of a No one.” Just the humility even in that reminded me once again of who he was on earth. Of course, I cried upon seeing it. He had sent me a photo of the chapters but not the title. Seeing it fired up the memory of him calling and telling me about this book idea. I encouraged him to do it!
This someday future move isn’t just about filling boxes, but it's also about deciding how much to actually keep of our lives together? I am entering a new season, so what's the best option? This endless processing, slows down the packing speed. It slows down everything really. It’s hard to power through a task when pausing to take emotional breaks.
But I try to give grace and celebrate that I am at least doing something, taking another step in the grief process.
In all honesty I do have to say, it still feels like I am walking through thick mud. Often, I simply want to take a few extra special things and leave the rest behind. As previously mentioned, grief is hard.
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.