I moved into a new place. By moved, I mean I have successfully moved my cats and my clothes, with a lot of help from friends. Everything else remains in the house I was occupying before, the one Sean and I moved into at the beginning of June. Our friends actually moved all of our things for us because we were in the hospital at that time. We were in the new place, on Haight St., exactly one month together. Sean was only there about two weeks of that time, the rest we were in the hospital. But I had made it into a home for us- two rooms and a bathroom, with a communal kitchen and living space downstairs shared with friends. I spent time setting up our couches and bookshelves and making it look home-y. My Trank family bought rugs and practical items to help us acclimate more easily to life there.
Sean died one month later.
I tried to make the space more ‘mine’ since then. I moved the bed to a different spot when it started to become unbearable to sleep in the same place. My family came out to SF for Sean’s memorial service and to help me out, so they hooked up my TV for me and helped organize things. My sister bought me a Keurig so I wouldn’t have to go downstairs to make coffee. My brother and sister bought ample cat toys to keep them occupied. Wow, that seems so long ago…
Now I’ve just moved in to a room I’m renting in a four-bedroom apartment with friends. It is a significantly smaller room, and a space that Sean has never occupied. This living situation will always only be my own experience: my room, my cats, my clothes. Sean will never enter this space for as long as I live here. I’m quite literally moving forward.
I decided a few weeks ago that I was going to ‘rip the band-aid off’ and take the month of January to go through all of my things, getting rid of everything that wouldn’t fit into my new life and my new space. I didn’t want a storage unit of things looming over me- I wanted to start fresh and felt that I don’t need to keep anything that I don’t need right now. If I need a cutting board or potholders later in life, I will deal with it then. Whittling my life down from two people in a whole apartment to one person (and two cats) in a room is a large task and I wanted to get it over with.
I’m having a hard time going in to those rooms, though. With the bed Sean’s parents bought for us and the furniture arranged how I thought best for Sean and me. All the books on the shelves, and the TV that’s not hooked up to anything anymore. It feels so hollow, it’s a shell of the life I had. I don’t want to start pulling things off the walls of that life. I don’t want to undo it, to take it apart just yet. I’m not ready for my life with Sean to become a memory that is only held in my mind. There is no one to share that memory with- I am the sole bearer of the times spent in our apartment and the brief moments we had in the Haight house. I will treasure those memories but I’m not sure how ready I am for them to become just that- memories.
If I let go, is it gone?