Diary of a Widower

Daily entries by a husband, who stayed behind with his two sons

Getting rid of her clothes

TUESDAY, May 4 – The house was quiet and serene when I woke up. Sander in Switzerland, Eamonn staying overnight with a friend in Arnhem. For the first time, a night alone.  It felt good, really good.  Empty house, empty head.  Now I can focus all my energy on moving to our new place later this week.

I mucked out Sander’s room. Then, I collected Jennifer’s clothes from the attic and took them to a church on the other end of the city.  That had always been the plan. Our downstairs neighbor suggested a used clothed store in the neighborhood, but I didn’t want to risk running into someone wearing one of Jenn’s dresses. No way.

When I threw the bags down the stairs, one of them split open and a couple of sweaters fell out. I smelled them. Nope. No Jennifer, no memories. A clothing smell I didn’t recognize. I put them in a new bag and loaded everything into the car. Mustn’t stop now. Just keep going. Think about today. Not about yesterday when she was wearing the clothes, not about tomorrow when someone else might be wearing them.

A shiver went down my spine. Just keep your head cool, I tell myself. This is my chance to get rid of the clothes, once and for all. Gone. At the drop-off point, no questions were asked and I felt no need to elaborate. The bags were added to the existing pile and, as I wrote on her Facebook wall: ‘Some time soon a number of women will be wearing purple.’

23:00 – By that evening I’d already picked up Eamonn from his stay in Arnhem.  A two-night sleepover was a bridge too far. When we got home, all he wanted to do was cuddle – as close to me as possible, and vice versa. Security is the mantra. After taking a shower he grabbed me and said, ‘I want Mom back.’

If only I could make that happen.

‘If only life was a video game,’ he said. ‘Then we could die and come back to life again.’

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