Empty drawers

Today’s the day I will muster my courage and empty my husband’s dresser.

As I approach the much dreaded two-year mark of his passing, I know I have made great progress “getting on with my life” as it were. But ridding my bedroom of his presence has not been a part of that yet. His closet stands untouched and his clothes which still smell faintly of him, sit sentinel in his drawers.

In part, this seemingly small project is based on practicality. I admit to being a bit of a clothes monger, and so find myself stuffing my dresser drawers to the brim with workout togs, assorted socks and sundries.

James never had that issue. He basically wore the same uniform every day as it were: a one pocket, short-sleeved collared shirt and Carhartt jeans. Although his dress was simple he was incredibly particular about it. Only certain brands and styles – no deviations!

He hung his shirts in the closet, so his large dresser with all of its drawers were never full. They hold items he rarely used such as thermal shirts, swimming trunks,  heavier socks.

One of the selling points of the house we live in was this large master bedroom with its double closets and ample room for a king-sized bed, and his and hers dressers. Before we moved, we made do with his parents bedroom furniture. I was at first, a bit creeped out to be sleeping in the same bedroom with the same furniture as his deceased parents, but understood the financial necessity of it at the time.

Once we moved though, we splurged on very fancy furniture with faux marble-topped end tables, a bed frame with a large padded head-board – the works!

It seems silly now, to have this very ornate set of bedroom furniture with its large expanse of a bed occupied only by myself. Oh well.

And so, it being a rainy day, and my need to keep moving forward in small albeit emotionally charged ways, I am going to tackle emptying his chest of drawers. Such an odd name for a piece of furniture when you think about it – certainly English in origin.

Other names include dresser or tallboy. The very Southern classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird” refers to it as a chifforobe in the most action-packed courtroom scene ever.

His glasses, wallet and contents of his pockets on his last day still sit on the fake marble top. What to do with these articles? Do I throw them away? The corners of my eyes are starting to burn and throat constricts just thinking about it.

I know intellectually that getting rid of my late husband’s clothes is a necessity. There is no hurry to do so, but I am trying hard not to be so stuck in the past. However, the irrational side of me thinks that it is a betrayal in some way, to offload his stuff from my life.

6 thoughts on “Empty drawers

  1. Martha, I feel for you. This must be gut-wrenching. Wish I could help make it easier. I hope all our love helps a little. Call if you want to talk.


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