Black bin bags full of the things that are no longer needed or wanted. The accumulations of a life. Odd socks. A jacket the moths have been busy with. Broken light bulbs. Pens that no longer work. Worn sandals.
Watched the postie drive away your 24 year old Rover. A gift for his son. Another generation learning to drive as we four did with you all those decades ago.
Couldn’t quite let go of a few of your clothes to the charity shop so back to London they come with me for a while. Remind me of all those days I saw you potter down the corridor ready for breakfast, our favourite time of the day.
Your flat is now empty, almost. Those things that made it so much yours are no longer there. It’s an empty space, an echo of your home but no longer that. Painters come in tomorrow. Fresh white and new carpets. A blank canvas for those who’ll live there next and like we did they will enjoy the view over the boats and the early morning sun streaming in.
A rushed practical sorting things couple of days overlaid with so much emotion. Memories aplenty. Thoughts of things that will never be again. The end of an era. Dad doesn’t live here any more.
So now it’s getting used to:
living without you there
not worrying about you
not hearing your voice
not phoning you when I arrive somewhere
not buying little things I think you’d like or that would make your life easier ( though Amazon doesn’t yet know you’re no longer around and keeps on making recommendations)
planning my time around Devon visits
not needing to have my phone with me always just in case you call and want a chat
not being able to share happy experiences with you
It’s just getting used to the start of a life without you. I knew it was coming but it’s still been such a shock. Life with a hole in the middle. Starting to get used to that.
And for the first time today since you died I felt happy. Sunshine on my face, eating fish and chips on Lyme Regis Beach watching the walkers, the waves, the light. Just for a little while I was completely present and was just there on the beach, your loss wasn’t there and I felt happy. It was good to feel happy again. Sadness and grief crept back in soon enough and wrapped themselves around me again but that’s ok. More simple happy times will come and will continue to catch me by surprise for a while yet until one day they just come and go and it’s not surprising any more.