Stiff Socks and Pressed Shirts

I’ve spent evenings sitting on the floor of our closet squeezing in my hands the socks Jason was wearing during the race.  His running shoes were in the clear plastic bag the hospital handed me but I didn’t realize his socks were stuffed into the toes of the shoes until a few weeks after his death.  I wanted to hang on to everything that had touched him, so finding his stiff crumbled socks was a simple delight when there were no other reasons to feel happy.  His timing chip is still secured around the lace of his left shoe.   I can’t remove it because he didn’t get a chance to cross the finish line.  I’m having a difficult time facing the finality of death and the horrible reality of never seeing him again.   I know I must confront it before I can move forward, but I can’t just yet.  There’s no hurry.

I picked his shirts up from the dry cleaners the day after his funeral.  The man who owns the dry cleaners appeared genuinely sad when I explained why he was seeing me and not Jason, who dropped in almost every other day.  He asked me if I wanted to donate the shirts and I know I responded with the “Are you fucking crazy!” look because he immediately just handed them to me and said there was no charge.  I hung them in the closet as if Jason was going to wear them to work the following week.

He bought a new pair of shoes the night before the race.  Someone offered to return them to the store but that was unthinkable.  They were Jason’s new shoes and he wouldn’t have purchased them if he didn’t want them!  They too are in the closet sitting on a shelf still in the box.  I open the lid every so often and look inside.  I’m not sure what I’m searching for exactly…maybe the possibility of an empty box because Jason has returned and is wearing them!  Just one of my many impossible daydreams.

I imagine myself moving from this house some day and moving all of Jason’s things as well…just in case he needs them.  I know it’s actually me who needs his things to remain as they are because that’s proof he was here, that he existed as my husband and shared this house with me.   I’ve moved things around in the other rooms but our bedroom is the sanctuary.  The bedroom will never feel the same again but at least it resembles the past I remember.   I thought maybe having Jason’s ashes in my bedroom was more upsetting so I tried to relocate them but that felt even worse.  No, he needs to stay in the bedroom alongside his dog for now so we can still pretend to be a family in the only way I know possible now.





3 thoughts on “Stiff Socks and Pressed Shirts

  1. This post made my cry. I had to move from Australia back to the States when Matt passed away so most of his things are in boxes-I have his important things with me though. I too had to pick up shirts from the dry cleaner after Matt passed and it was torture. Like you I need his things bc they hold so many wonderful memories for me. There may come a day when I can release some of the items but I don’t see that happening any time soon and I am ok with that. Oh and I too have my hubby’s ashes in my bedroom, I couldn’t imagine them any where else. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Besides the memories in our heads all we have left are things, and ashes. I’ve had some bad advice over the past few months regarding his stuff, but fortunately I only listen to myself when it comes to such important matters. There is nothing wrong or damaging about hanging on to our husbands things if it helps us.

      Liked by 1 person

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