Chaotic Cluttered Crazy Grief

It’s been eight months.

I plan to clean out the bathroom today. All the shelves and all the drawers.

It’s been on my to-do list for over a week. I keep “arrowing” it over to the next day. And then the next.

But I think today is the day.

And to be fair, 75 percent of the stuff is mine. That’s normal, right?

A razor. Some soap. Deoderant. He was a simple man. He didn’t require much.

I’ve moved his cologne to my dresser. That stays.

The bathroom is cluttered and in need of a deep cleaning anyways (I keep telling myself that.)

Clutter is heavy. I don’t want carry it anymore. There is already enough to carry.

This morning, as I thought about going through all those personal items, holding each one in hand as I decide its fate, I had a good cry.

I’m okay with that. Almost every day has tears at some point.

They have become friends. We meet over coffee, lunch, often at dinnertime.

We have even become traveling companions; they love to visit while I’m driving.

I don’t push them away. They are good friends.

They bring healing and release.

I keep procrastinating some of these chores, but seriously, not cleaning out the bathroom or his dresser or his closet… what does that accomplish?

Delaying… waiting… won’t bring him back.

It’s taken me awhile to work that out in my head.

I know it sounds crazy, but grief is anything but sane.

Doing or not doing. Thriving or languishing. He’s not coming back.

At times, that hard cold fact still punches me in the gut; like a news flash that pops up in my brain every few days.

Alert! Breaking news! He’s Not Coming Back!

So today, I take another step in this new life of mine.

A bathroom of my own. Just what every woman wants, right?

Cynicism. Not pretty.

But today is just hard. Actually May and June have been kind of brutal.

Mother’s Day. My birthday. Our anniversary is mid-week and next week begins with Father’s Day.


That “clutter” is heavy too.

I’m feeling weary. Tired.

I think before I begin the big chore of the day, I’ll take a few minutes to chat with God.

About all this. All the clutter. Everything.

This mess of mine.

We are finally on speaking terms again. Him and me.

That’s taken me awhile to work that out as well.

Journaling has become deep work between the two of us.

I unload all the chaos onto the page. Everything.

The good, the bad, the whys and hows. I tell him I don’t understand.

Daily the ink protests my new life.

When the pages are full, I allow my tears to drop and puddle into the words. I lay the brazen pen down and just listen.

God? What say you?

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” — Psalm 56:8

Can you see it?

I can sometimes… I see him pick up every scrap I throw down, and examine it closely. Catching every tear… maybe shedding a few of his own? In sorrow he gently places all the pieces, all the inky tears, in the bottle… and tucks it into his robe.

And he carries the clutter for me. All of it.

I wonder if the bottle holds the answers to my tears as well. Will he sit with me one day; pour the contents out, as we talk about it all… one teardrop at a time?

12 thoughts on “Chaotic Cluttered Crazy Grief

  1. Connie, you write so beautifully. I am not walking in your shoes but, I feel your heaviness and pain. What a thought. Our tears are so precious to Him that He takes time to bottle them. I love that.

  2. Connie, you put into words what many of us are feeling, no matter how long it has been. We cannot put our feelings into words that make sense. So thank you for using the gift that God has given you so we can say, “yes, that what I wanted to say.” Keeping you in my prayers!

    1. Thank you. Comments like yours are what help me to be bold enough to share my writing. I’m glad my words resonated with you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. And I’m always grateful for the prayers.

  3. I just read this posting. Then realized I had missed the last several. This is not a reflection of my relationship with you…. But my conflicted relationship with FB (and yes…I know “You” are listening!).
    This was a wake up call that even though I think you sound “good” on the days I have contact with you, there are some very rough ones in between. So I will remain diligent to pray for you on those “in between” days and thankful for the ones that you are able to share a moment with me and others in the fam. Remember that we all love you…and love/miss our brother, Jon, as well.

    1. Thanks Kathy, it’s just a mixed bag. I’m doing well but I’m also a hot mess. I’m finding that is exactly what grief is. Love you too.

  4. Losing a spouse is different than losing a child but grief is grief. We’re never “over it” but I promise, sweet cousin, that with time the tears will fall less often, you’ll be able to think of Jon and a smile will come to your face before the tears. I have to share with you when I cleaned out Travis’ closet. I would buy Travis new shirts because he hated going shopping with me and would always act genuinely like he liked the clothes I bought him but when I got to the back of his closet, there they were, about a dozen shirts with the tags still attached. He obviously didn’t want to hurt my feelings. I found that donating helped ease the pain. Shawn knew of a family of four boys that needed a helping hand so I was glad they were going to someone who could really use them. I wish I had magic words but there aren’t any. Your writing is beautiful, even through the anguish. I pray for peace for you. Sometimes there aren’t answers. Faith means believing in the good times and the bad. Love you!

    1. Deb, Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I know you understand grief… with all its ups and downs. Good days and not so good days. Love you too. And I’m so sorry for your loss.

  5. I have thought about you so many times over these last few months. I can feel some of your agony because I too few deep lone times. I look at his lift chair and think if only he was still here with me. But I know he is in a better place now. I can’t express myself like you do. You share deep from your heart and I will continue to pray for you. Your writings do help me with my grief as well.

    1. Oh Marcia… You cross my mind so often. I know you are mourning as well. And yes… they are both in a better place; we both understand that…. but still…. going forward without them by our side is just so hard. I will continue to pray for you as well.

  6. I know my grief is different than yours, but I found some peace reading this post. Over the last few years I have tried to give/sell Olivia’s things (not clothes) and if my son sees what is up he takes them and hides them. She died in 1996 so we have all had plenty of time to grieve, but for him hanging onto her things is comforting. The perfume I get completely. I have her perfume in my bathroom, it is such a sweet memory of her. My heart goes out to you as I know it must be like driving a car with two wheels to loose the other half of YOU. God has plans for us all and I struggle to understand mine. Your blog is Him through you. Thanks!

    1. Laura, I distinctly remember when Olivia died; I didn’t live in the community then however I remember how profoundly her death affected my niece. I’m so sorry. That is a lot to carry for so many years. Thank you for your kind words.

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