Toothpaste And Deodorant: Making Room For Something New

Banana ToothpasteImage by AZRainman via Flickr


I'm cleaning out closets. And drawers. Also, bookshelves and cabinets and corners. It's time.


After a year, I am ready to do more. I am ready to let go of more of my pieces of me, more material things, and more clutter that's blocking my path.


You might think, mistakenly, that the clutter I'm referring to belonged to Bob, but very little of it did. Sure, a few of the books amassed from each new job were his. The book du jour that each company felt was necessary to convey their culture. Those were his. He never read them. It was easy to drop those into the brown paper bag of donations.


Next, I attacked my shoes and clothes, letting go of things that don't fit, unworn items, and anything that doesn't make me feel fabulous. Life is too short to keep clothes that don't rock your world. Into the donation pile they went.


Then I came upon that dreaded bag, again. That damned duffle bag from our final hospital stay. Every time I do this purging thing, I come across that bag. Every time I am able to cull a few more items from the bag. This time, I plunged into the final purge. And it was the oddest combination of items that reduced me to a sobbing mess—his tiny tube of hospital-issue toothpaste and travel-size deodorant. I was undone by toiletries, people.


As I took them from the bag and dropped them into the trash, (because what was I going to do? Save them? That seemed too morose, not to mention a little unhygienic) I felt that hard ball of pain in my throat. My eyes burned. The tears soaked my cheeks and I knew I was done for the night.


Sometimes you have to sit with your grief; give it space to be, let it soak your face, kick you in the gut, have its way with you, you know?


The duffle bag is finally empty. My heart still hurts, but I had time to feel the pain I needed to feel at that moment. I am so blessed to have people in my life who understand how important that is, who aren't threatened by my need to grieve, and who love me. It makes this shitty process so much easier.