Both my parents are dead for a month now. At that means they still exist (at least in this world) in only two ways: in the memory of people who loved them, and in the artifacts of the life they left behind.
And now, it’s time for me to process all those artifacts. My mother had real trouble engaging loss after she was diagnosed and my father broke his back, and that means she did almost nothing to clear up the remains of her own life. She, as usual, left that to me.
So one day, very soon, I just have to start bagging up crap and getting rid of it. It’s lovely to think it will go to someone who values it, or someone who can use it, but the truth is that much of it just has to go.
I have to let go of the mass I have left of my parents, have to boil it down so only their essence remains, the potent and the valuable. I have to cherish the jewels and toss out the dross, and the job of sorting that all out seems, to say the least, daunting. Crushing might be a better word.
There is a great deal to do in putting together a life for me again. But clearing the remains of my parents life has to happen. There is no space for me unless I reclaim the space they no longer need in this world.
So much of the remains of my parents lives have to go into garbage bags, just thrown away. It is always the result of death, this purge and disposal.
But it still offers me a struggle.