The conversion of Bradley's office to Our School House is still in the works. The energy has shifted and it is much more fun to be in that space. Our whole house feels better now that the process is more than half way done.
Most of what has come out of Bradley's office is sentimental. It's a lot. The storage room is full to the ceiling. I started reminding myself that I am not comprised of my belongings or his. Even if I get rid of all of his things, I'm still me. Of course it is harder with his things then my own possessions. There is such finality with Bradley's things. Christina, the personal organizer I am working with, organized a few items that really needed my attention to do something with like the trash can and Bradley's water bottle. I took his water bottle and walked upstairs to the kitchen. I stood there for a long time. This was the last thing he touched in the house that I have. It was like touching him again. I smelled the drinking spout. It still smelled like him. The water was gross since it had set for 10 months but in my mind I thought about how it had his DNA in it. The cells of his body ,still floating in the water, of a body long gone now. I slowly poured the water out and placed the container in the dishwasher. I held the lid close to my face. Tears rolling down my checks. I took a long breathe in - smelling what was left of Bradley. Slowly I laid the lid in the dishwasher next to the bottle. I looked at it and repeated this process maybe 10 times. I was saying goodbye all over again and I closed the dishwasher.
I sat and thought about Bradley's water bottle in the dishwasher. Sentimental items, even a water bottle, seem like memories are attached to them but the memories are actually within me. Washing that water bottle doesn't wash away the memory.
Joshua Fields Millburn at The Minimalists writes about going though belongings. He suggest asking yourself, "do I need this in order to keep the memory?" He says there are plenty of other ways to keep the memories without keeping the item. Take a photo of it, write it down in a journal, or perhaps even decide that it's a memory you don't need to keep anymore. In fact, he reminds, if you're holding on to an item for a memory that weighs on you, it's probably time to say goodbye.
It's probably one of the reasons writing has been a need for me since Bradley died.