Monday, March 13, 2017

It's Just Messy

Yesterday I couldn't get past stepping out of the shower dripping wet and feeling assaulted by the 22 degree below temperatures that sneak through the cracks in the doors and windows of my house. I seldom skip a daily shower. Today, I couldn't get past the fact that I didn't take a shower yesterday and felt just plain grimy, so I reached in the shower and stuck my hand under the spray to test it.  It had to be hot.

I stepped in and started to rub the soap onto the nylon mesh ball.  Jerry had a stockpile of his favorite French milled soap.  I ordered it every month for him two or three bars at a time.  During this phase of showering I always think of him.  He never used a washcloth or a mesh ball, instead he held the bar and kind of rolled it around both hands to gather a lather.

Days after he died, I took the sliver of soap that he last used, dried it and tucked it in the top drawer with my underwear and passport.  I can't explain why.  Maybe in time of grief no explanation is necessary.  I often act on a need; a deep unexplained need and I just go with it. This is a strange time in my life; a mishmash of emotion that cannot be fully understood.  I feel like one with multiple personalities, often confused by the swirl of opposing emotions.  One moment I feel intense joy, while in seconds waves of sorrow overcome me.  There are times of clarity and times of uncertainty.   Sometimes fear wraps me and strangles, while later I may feel the excitement of opportunity and freedom. None of it makes sense.

I run my fingers over the top of the smooth oval, the soap showing signs of wear through the vein-like lines that run through it.  I bring it to my nose, inhale and tuck it back in the drawer for safe-keeping. Mango scent, one of his favorites.

Each day following prayer, I am quiet if only for a few minutes,  listening to what I need. It may be simple like skipping a shower on a cold day or saving my husband's soap and handling it like an artifact of the MFA. I don't always have to have a logical reason for what I do.  I just do it, act on my intuition. Grief is messy.  Grief is complex and sometimes the wave of varying emotions are confusing and make no sense.  It just is-what it is.


elsie said...

Grief is messy. I'm so sorry for your loss. Each day is a challenge and I don't think you need to have an explanation for the emotion of the moment.

Judy said...

Grief is very difficult to express and understand. It is complex and so many emotions that arise just because of a smell, a song, a word or taking a simple shower. Grief takes time and comes with many good memories and anger. By writing these slices, you help to put that grief into perspective. I pray that you have someone to talk to and share your feelings with. We have a great program at our church as many other churches have. Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one Christian caring program. We listen and care for those in need. Hugs

shogem said...

It sounds like you are navigating your journey as best you can. So sorry for your loss. What a wonderful way to connect with your husband by way of the scent of his soap. Very moving.

Mary Ann Reilly said...

It is all that and mostly unexpected. The image of the sliver of soap is lovely. It makes me wish I had a sliver of soap from Rob.

travelinma said...