Flinging Totes

There is a limit. Sorting, packing up, and arranging the stuff of our life together is hard work that can, apparently, only be done in short segments. I have a lot to complete, but I hit a wall and must stop torturing myself with all the memories.

Items that were long forgotten pop up in a box or tote and surprise me with the intensity of its associated story. Everything carries a story, and the type of story doesn’t seem to matter anymore…they are all hurtful. Sharp, jabbing recollections tied to a thing.

Maybe I should just get rid of all the things? Ha! Right. No, I cannot bring myself to let go of anything. I shared with my mother-in-law that I was cleaning out Jana’s purse today, and I was pained to throw away old allergy medication from the bottom of the purse that she held onto. Jana knew what they were, and what they were for, but I don’t have any idea. Still, I wanted to keep them… But, why?

If she used it, touched it, wore it, saw it, or heard it…I want to keep it. It’s all that’s left of my physical connection to her now. Even though the shirts are folded and unused, the shoes are boxed up, and her jewelry hangs on her neck no more, these idle items hold great significance.

I went to Walmart – where just months ago we went and Jana pointed out items that she would like to have one day as we shopped. When I went, I was picking up another couple of totes to put more of her things in. As I moved toward the checkout line, I chewed on my secret purpose for my purchase. Nobody would guess that I was going home to load these containers with my deceased wife’s belongings. I can hardly believe it…


Today, I dealt with anger. This is not an emotion that comes up a lot with me, but it does fill my thoughts sometimes. My anger is becoming much more me focused. I feel bad for me. I didn’t want this. And, now, what difference do my decisions make? I could throw out all of the stuff that reminds me of her, and who really cares? I even contemplated throwing my wedding ring out the car window while driving down the highway. Who cares?

Ok. So these thoughts don’t last long. And, that’s a good thing. But, I want to record them here. I want to share the gist of what I’m thinking. Anger is real.

Author: kcradioman

I am the Director of Twin Oaks Family Care in Excelsior Springs, Mo. I hold a Master of Arts in counseling from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and, currently, am working on the Doctor of Ministry in Care and Counseling at MBTS. My wife and I were married in 1998 and we had 2 daughters. On July 26th, 2019, my lovely wife, Jana, was diagnosed with Leukemia and began treatment. On Aug 7th, 2019, she died of complications from the chemo treatment. God prepared us and sustains us. My way of grieving includes being open and transparent about my feelings. My hope is to provide a voice of support for others experiencing grief.

One thought

  1. You are wise to just keep things for now. As time goes on you will be able to gradually dispose of more and more things without the pain it would cause you now. Just give it time. Praying for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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