Friday, October 23, 2020

Folding Up


Ed's Clothes Pile.
4ft from front edge to back of closet
3.5 between closet doors
16 to 18 inches deep.

Today I tackled Ed's clothes.  I spent hours at it and I've barely put a dent in it.  And that's not just because of the size of it but because I kept folding up over some item or other I'd just picked up and having to leave the room and even stand out on the balcony until I stopped smelling him like he was standing right behind me.

It doesn't help that to access that pile I must stand right on the spot where they found his body. The awareness of that is acute and unrelenting.  It was all I could do not to just crumple to the floor and completely loose it.

The physical labor and time spent had little impact on me.  I used to enjoy doing laundry as it was something that tapped into one of my competencies and shall I say joys--sorting and organizing.   But those memories triggered by the sight of each item or by the motions of bending to pick up, shake out, search pockets, inspect for stains, frays and missing buttons...  

Memories of all the times I prepared loads of laundry over forty years...  

Flashes of moments when he was wearing that or that or....  

Watching him walking up the sidewalk toward me wearing those jeans...  

Seeing him standing at the stove wearing that shirt and it's rucked up a bit in back showing skin and I walk up behind him and slide my hand up his spine--my cold hands from having just transferred the condiments from fridge to table.

Oh, the things I will never do again.

I actually thought I was getting that project started and organized so I could work at it during the read-a-thon tomorrow.  Now I will have to leave it be until Sunday afternoon after I've slept at least six hours after the 5am end of the thon.  Now I know sorting his clothes is going to take more mental and emotion bandwidth than sorting papers, books, music and electronic paraphernalia. 

I thought sorting his clothes might work as it was such a familiar task and I'd often done it on autopilot before.  I didn't bargain for the impact of his scent on my physical, mental and emotional equilibrium.  So that is obviously not going to work for the read-a-thon.

That leaves the kitchen: washing dishes by hand and by dishwasher, packing clean dishes into boxes, washing cupboard shelves and doors, washing inside and outside drawers, washing the counters, sink, stove, fridge and small appliances and mopping the floor.  I've already done a little of that and nothing about it triggered the kind of meltdowns handling his dirty clothes and bedding did today.

I'll have to move dry goods from the cupboards and counters to boxes without sorting though as that entails reading labels and inspecting for spoilage and that is not compatible with listening to a book.

But first I've got to get a good long sleep or I won't get to do the full 24 hours of the thon.  Or worse I won't enjoy it.

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