I clean. I clean the dishes. I clean the laundry. I clean the house – Well sort of. I’ll admit I clean what’s apparent, the obvious and easily seen. Since Clayton passed away, I’ve been busy with a full time job, a side business and just figuring out life. They say that grief triggers hit at strange times and that is very clear to those of us who experience it. Sometimes I feel like my life on social media is just a window into my widowed world. People walking by and seeing bits and pieces. I feel a deep responsibility to share, not just the perfect photos with the pretty things, but to share the whole world in here. So here’s something seemingly simple that hit me really hard this week.
I was vacuuming. A simple task I do every week. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing tremendously triggering until the vacuum caught the corner of an area rug. I pulled back, the rug played tug-0-war and the vacuum handle snapped. Aggravated and annoyed I moved the vacuum to notice what that rug had been hiding for 4 years – The new carpet that was here when Clayton and I moved in. There in front of me was the stark contrast of my past life I dreamed of and what it has become. I know I have a lot to be happy about, but when it comes to losing Clayton and the emotions that have come with it, I feel worn and faded like that exposed carpet. It hurts, I miss him and I miss me with him. It’s so hard to talk about but there are days I don’t know who I am and what to think or feel.
A new vacuum and it’s time to do a deep clean. I started in the bedroom. I began to clean the obvious and told myself that it was time to move some furniture and clean what’s been in the shadows. Headphones on and I was jamming to a fun tune, pulled back the dresser and lost my breath as if the vacuum had sucked all the air out of the room. When we first moved in, Clayton had surprised me by painting the wall one day while I was at work. I had forgotten that he said he didn’t bother painting the whole wall behind furniture. It was a waste of time and paint. At that moment I had wished he wasted the time to finish but there on the wall was an empty space without color. The whole rest of the wall, like me, was vibrant except one empty spot that’s blank because of Clayton.
It’s been a full day of cleaning. It’s been a full week of strong triggers but I know sharing helps others so today I decided to wash the widowed windows so you could see more into this world…