family, life

Stages

bwmaxMy head is spinning from the whirlwind that has been my life since the 4th of July. We still have about a dozen boxes to unpack in our new home, plus need to hang pictures and decorate. There will be more updating to the house as well, but at least the major fixes are done for a few years.

In the mean time, I find myself experiencing the stages of grief over losing my mother-in-law three weeks ago.

After our remodel and move, my husband was finally able to travel the 1,100 miles to her home. Unfortunately, his mom had already left this plain.

I mentioned in her tribute post, she didn’t like to throw anything away. I wouldn’t quite call her a hoarder, because at least there was room to move around in her home, but she came pretty darn close.

My husband put himself to the task of going through her office. He found letters that she had written in the computer to us, printed them out, put them in an envelope and stamped but never mailed. When I say letters, I mean multiples of the same letter. She’d go back in and put a new date on the letter, reprint it out and stamp it again, several times in a row! I can’t say that I’m surprised, because this was so like her. And, by the way, they were letters we eventually received, so it wasn’t like finding a hidden treasure that we never got to see.

Then there were these papers you see below.

invlist1 (800x381)
Take a closer look at what this is titled below.

invlist2 (800x450)Okay … so … my husband and I have been married 31 years, and this is the invitation list to our wedding!

This doesn’t even make up a crumb of the things that will need to be removed from her house.

I suppose I shouldn’t be one to talk, having confessed to not being able to let go of my keepsakes on this very blog. In comparison, mine are neatly stored and organized. She also has a lot of other unnecessary items that are not keepsakes. One time when she moved, she kept boxes of wire ties to move with her.

Grieving is a deeply personal thing to go through. I’m an open person, yet I’m only comfortable sharing a small portion of my present grief publicly, especially since I feel guilty. I know that anger is one of the five stages, and this is the one that’s hitting me the most right now.

I’ve never been able to hide or suppress my true feelings. It was one of the issues between us. I didn’t know how to be fake, and she could cover up so well. I expected directness, and she danced around her points like a puppy circling her spot but never quite settling in.

Over the years, we had adapted into our own way of communicating. It was good between us when she left. So, I’m confused about the anger. I suppose these emotions will fade over time. Her memorial is in ten days, as her remains were sent up north to be with her husband’s.

Have you ever been taken by surprise by an emotion you didn’t expect?

 

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11 thoughts on “Stages”

  1. You have been through a lot this summer so it’s understandable that you may be experiencing some emotional raw spots. And going through all of that stuff, I can relate to that, it seems like you will never get through all of it, yet I felt compelled to go through everything, because I feared what I might miss.

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    1. From what you shared, your parents had some real antique treasures. Not so much monetary, but certainly historical. Love your dad’s notes to the editor.

      My MIL has a lot of nonsensical things. You know, like wire ties. Heh.

      You’re right about the emotional raw spots. Thanks for reading, Joy.

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  2. Sounds like the relationship continues, Lori, with emotions still being stirred up. How lovely! A wonderful reminder that the love is Eternal.

    One breath, one step at a time, my friend. That’s how we get through everything. 😉 xoxoM

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    1. Yep, we live on because we ARE that love. Thanks for your support, Margarita. This anger thing is not what I expected. But, you’re right, one step at a time.

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  3. I have a few boxes of things I try to throw out every once in a while and then I come across something that I can’t let go of and I give up.Boxes of letters from y other or from friends from long ago. Sweet memories and lots of clutter. What to do?
    As for emotions, yes, sometimes we can surprise ourselves when we let out emotions we’ve kept bottled up, or when we nearly let out emotions that would be harmful if they escaped.

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    1. Hi Anneli. I’m not a person who bottles emotions. Wouldn’t even know how if I tried. Just surprised at which ones are coming out, but I’m working them through.

      I know how it is not wanting to let go of some of those keepsakes. I posted about the letters I saved from 8th and 9t grade that we passed to each other in class. They are so fun to read, but lately, I’ve been leaning toward letting them go.

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  4. Oh gosh. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. What a year you have had. I bet you are looking forward to 2017. Being angry and sad at the same time is an interesting cocktail of emotions. Here is a virtual hug for you, Lori.

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    1. Hi Robin. It’s been an exhausting year, that’s for sure. If I remember right, you had some difficult losses yourself. Thank you for the hug, right back ‘atcha.

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