Moving into the present...
This post will be a bit fragmented because I wanted to write soon after Deena and I started cleaning out Zachary's room. I wanted the emotions to be fresh, raw and completely transparent.
One article at a time. Breathe. Reminisce, Reflect, laugh, cry, hesitate. Then another article. A shoe, piece of artwork, a snow globe, a used book, stuffed animal, used technology (itouch) or box of art supplies. All of these are pieces of the past that have stood the test of time. We are at a moment in time when Deena and I decided to remove memories and items of Zachary's life. We certainly do not take for granted the priceless items and treasures that are in front of us. We do recognize that sometimes treasures need to be buried or given to the less fortunate who see them for their true value and not the historic reminder.
Example...every pencil, crayon or oil paint is a constant reminder of Zachery's incredible talent but these unused items are better served at a children's hospital or donated to a family in need.
I was petrified that I couldn't do it. I was angry that it was at a point in time we decided to pack away old memories and use the room to make new ones.
We took our time, wading through each and every piece of paper that either had a purpose to stay in our lives or be respectfully discarded or donated.
Item by item we went through. Evidence of Deena and I being on the same page, was, the immediate agreement and quick deliberation what was important and what was not. There were items that needed to go and items that needed to stay.
When all was done...we cried, we laughed, we remembered why we kept things and laughed why we didn't throw this out in the first place.
I share this moment to remind families my journey continues. As I pointed out in a previous post, I've moved my grieving into acceptance BUT moving to purging ourselves of our past is another story.
Deena and I found ourselves remembering the good moments and less on the bad. We washed away some looming anger and moved further into acceptance.
We still have much more to do but we were proud of the progress we made. We are patient with the next phase of transition. My advice to families who are entering into this phase of grieving...1 article at a time. Then another and another. If it gets too much, close the door. There is always tomorrow. There is no rule as to how and when you move into this phase of grieving. Speaking from someone who is currently going through it...you are in control and only you can decide what means most to you. It is incredibly therapeutic to remove just 1 object. Its very personal. Time will guide you into the present and you will never forget the past.
It takes a village.