I found it sadly amusing that I continue to walk around things. Things that are in my way, things that shouldn't be where they are, things that really have no purpose anymore. But I didn't put them there, she did. Her slippers on the stairs just inside our front door, her reading glasses on the table, her laptop on the couch, the book bag on the floor of the living room, and the lunch bag hanging in the kitchen. Removing these and so many other things would help me to attack the clutter that is filling my world, and help me to make determinations on if I am in the right place for me going forward or if I really should consider a move. Yet moving them, taking them from their place is like erasing something I am not ready to erase. I keep things where they are and giggle a little when I run across them. In the bedroom I still have her water bottle stuffed into the side of the mattress where she left it. This has meant removing it, making the bed up and then putting it back where I found it.
When I was first dealing with this, the panic attack that came over me when I even thought of removing them was too much, so I didn't, then the panic attack only came if I physically started the process of moving them. Now though, I don't feel the panic, just the profound sadness that they are starting to lose the tinge of meaning that made me leave them there. How quickly I can start to remove history, how easy it is to erase presence, yet even so, I am not there really. I still have the last button up shirts she wore hanging on the clothing rack in the basement, so that every time I go to do laundry they are staring back at me. Every floor, every room has some reminder that it was her space as well as mine. So erasing small portions of her presence that merely stand in the way isn't like erasing her, it is about trying to make the space livable again, trying to make my world bearable. Yet it seems that each time I move something out, I find some way to move something else of her back in. Empty one space only to find a reason to put something else Christine in that space.
I continue to tell myself, one room at a time, and perhaps my choice of first room is the problem, that maybe I should start elsewhere. Pick an easy space like my office in the house and then work my way back from there. My office, the basement, the kitchen perhaps before hitting the big rooms like the living room, her office and the bedroom. All this needs to be done so I can have others visit and stay with me, but perhaps, in some hidden way, I am avoiding that because I am not ready for that to be what I want. I can use the excuse that there are things I just can't bear to move right now that are blocking my ability to have people there, but perhaps it is going beyond the things to just not being able to bear having people in her space without her. The house was her domain, was her treasure. I was okay with the house, but I had wanted to move 10 years ago to a place more suited to my hobbies and habits, she didn't want to leave the pond or the community.
So as I look out the window of my office at the pond across the street and see the swans floating out there and the rabbits cruising across the lawn, all I can do is remember how much she loved this place and how much I miss her. So perhaps the biggest unmovable object is myself.