Monday, February 1, 2010

Out of the Closet

Good Monday Mourning fellow grievers,

I slept in a bit this morning. Winter does that to me. How about you? Well, I finally crawled out of bed and went to my closet to find something to wear. I opened the folding doors wide and gazed into the side with all the shirts and sweaters - not to be confused with the side that holds the dresses and skirts. The two sections are divided by a row of shelves and cubbies that hold shoes, scarves and belts. So as I'm looking through the row of neatly hung clothes for something warm (very warm!) I realize something unusual is happening - at least unusual for a Monday morning; I was smiling. Yes! I confess, the sight of a closet not jammed with clothes; one where there is enough space for everything makes me smile.
I know that's a silly thing. I admit I am a bit embarrassed that something like adequate closet space makes me smile. Closet space is not a life-changing topic with any eternal value but I still smiled.
And then as quickly as the smile came it left- abruptly and quite unsettling as I realized WHY I finally have enough closet space; David died. I'm not sharing the space with men's suits and bowling balls and other silly things men think they should put in a closet. I'm not sharing the space anymore. (I actually tried to convince David that he should store his stuff in the spare bedroom closet so he wouldnt be so crowded in ours. He said he didnt feel crowded at all and maybe the problem was that I had too many clothes. Really! Men are so strange!)Adequate closet space is a nice thing to have but not if somebody has to die in order to get it.
This is the nature of grief. Everytime you think you might take some pleasure or delight in life - even in the little things like closet space - grief gets right up in your face like some drill sargent and tells you to wipe that silly smile off your face 'cause you got no reason to smile.
Well when this happens (and if you've grieved for a while I know i'ts happened to you) I fight back. I refuse to let grief fill me with false guilt and rob me of joy or happiness. David died and that is truly awful. But I will claim the whole closet and I will smile about it. Grief tries to tell us that we should never be happy again because our loved one is gone. Everytime a laugh or a smile breaks through grief is there to say, "how could you think of being happy at a time like this?!" I fight it! I do not let that lie take hold in my mind or my heart. You should fight it too. Yes, it is OK for me to be happy even while I grieve. Those two emotions are not mutually exclusive; they can coexist and I actually look for ways to find happiness in the little daily pleasures. Things like having the TV remote all to myself and wearing flannel to bed and closets that work. I am happy about such things and that doesnt mean I don't miss my husband. I miss him...every day AND I make the best of this "table for One". If being happy about closets void of men's baseball cleats that havent been worn in 10 years is wrong then I guess you can say, I'm "out of the closet!" Call me wrong. Just don't mess with my closet.
I hope you find something today to smile about. Tell me what makes you smile. Surely someone has one as silly as mine. Besides, God smiles at silly things too. He smiles at you and me... now that's silly!



1 comment:

  1. Karen, what made me smile today was my cat trying to chew the plastic cinch ties of my garbage bag. I heard a noise and looked over and there was my cat on a case that I had leaned the bag against having the best of chews. Why does she do that? To every plastic bag I bring in the house? Or have in the house? Thanks for helping me remember to smile today. Kris