After weeks of procrastination I finally gathered up my courage and donated the bulk of Michele’s clothes to Goodwill. As a therapist with a private practice she had amassed quite a collection of very nice clothes; dresses, dress suits, blouses, and skirts.
In all the four huge trash bags had over 125 items in them. I wasn’t able to donate her everyday clothes yet. Those still hang in her side of the closet in our room. I know that I will need to part with them too, someday. But for now I can’t bear the thought of seeing the empty space in the closet. I also wasn’t able to do anything with her wedding dress. Since she had no daughter there’s no one to pass it on to, and eventually I suppose I will have to leave it behind too.
The sobering aspect to this is accepting one more piece of reality - the reality being that she isn’t coming back. Intellectually I know she is dead. Emotionally I am coping with her absence. However, there is a part of me, my soul, my inner child, I don’t know what, that still believes she will come back. And getting rid of her belongings feels like I am betraying that part of me.
Michele would have donated these clothes to Goodwill herself, were she here. They weren’t something she was going to use again and she would rather let someone in need get use out of them than keep them in a closet. I can hear her voice saying, “Someone will get a job because they had good clothes to wear to the interview.”
Still and all, I’m very sad right now. I miss her so very much, and letting go of anything that was hers is painfully hard.