I lugged the whole heap of boxes to three more homes in the course of six years. My current husband full of grace, because he understood. After all, when I lost Darryl, he lost his best friend. I started off strong that September day. I thought it would be enough to soldier through old memories, familiar smells, and things long forgotten with the impenetrability developed over the six (longer than they should be) years. I was wrong. Somewhere in the middle I couldn’t do it anymore. A cloud of grief hung over me. And the tears began to sting my eyes. I got as far as I could and left the task undone. I don’t know when I’ll face the rest of those boxes again.
Grief is a weird thing. I wish I could tell you of all the progress I’ve made over the years but the truth is that I still have so far to go. When it comes to grief I believe you can’t get it right or wrong. For the most part you just have to do what works for you. For most of us this requires a good counselor and a solid community of friends.
It was quiet here the last week in February. February 29-March 22, is always a weird time for me. It always huddles around Spring and Lent. I’m never quite sure exactly how to memorialize these three weeks from the time of Darryl’s motorcycle accident, through his coma, and to the morning of his death. Some years I am good at remembering it all well and some years if I just plant one marigold I count that a win.
On March 23, something unique will happen. Darryl will have been gone longer than we were together. I don’t know what this means for my grief or for going forward. Somedays it’s hard to believe that I was married for three years and then widowed at twenty-four. Other days I realize how much Darryl’s life and our marriage shaped me.