One more time…

  Men's Clothes in ClosetToday, I took Travis’ clothes out of the closet and packed them away. It was not planned or thought out for days and yet did not happen by accident either.       I had been re-organizing and moving things around in our closet over the past week. I did not need the space. We shared a closet for 15 years, the space was, always had been in and in my mind always will be “his”. There was a comfort in seeing his clothes hanging next to mine…where they were supposed to be. It is where they were meant to be, where they had always been.       Today, after I finished moving things around and had even said aloud to myself, “Okay, I think I am done in here.”, my eyes landed on his clothes. My thought immediately was that maybe today was the day that I pack them up. I stood there for several minutes contemplating if I wanted to or did not want to do this and why. No answers…it was not about moving on…it was not moving forward in my grief journey…it was not about healing. It did not really feel like it was about anything.       Then I began to cry. Deep, heaving sobs that caused me to grab the door frame and hold on as the emotions overwhelmed me. My thoughts ranged from this scenario not even being possible, feeling so unreal to the fact that I could not believe that I would ever find myself in a place of having to make a decision to pack up his clothes. As the emotion subsided a little, I do not remember a specific thought, just that I knew that I was going to pack them away. Even in that moment, allowing myself complete freedom to pull them out tomorrow, next week, next month or next year and hang them back in the closet if that is what I felt like doing.       The process was not one of yanking them off the hangers and getting them in the box as quick as I could so it would be over sooner, it was much different than that. I carefully and lovingly took each item off the hanger. I would hold it for a moment almost as if somehow my touch on his clothes could transcend time and space and he would feel it…I could feel him again. I smelled them. His scent has long been gone but I hoped that maybe by chance, I could still get a small scent of Travis. There was none.       As I gently and slowly folded each item, I ran my hands down the sleeves, imagining being able to run my hands along his arms one more time. To rub his broad shoulders and back, one more time. To wrap my arms around his waist and bury my face in his clothing and breathe him in just one more time. With each article of clothing, the process repeated. Each time I bent down to put another item in the box, tears would fall and leave tear stains on the items already folded in the box.       With each article of clothing, the mantra was the same….   one more time….   one more time….   one more time…       What I would not give for….one more time.