I washed a bag of Shawn’s t-shirts last night that have sat by the side of my bed for two years. They were the last shirts he ever wore the week before he died. In the beginning days, I refused to wash them wanting his scent to linger for as long as possible. As time passed I couldn’t find the will to want to wash them. They served some form of preservation. Not that dirty shirts could ever replace Shawn. But, the mind does funny things with loss.
This week I reevaluated the situation. After two years his scent has disappeared replaced by a collection and smell of dust.
As I threw the clothes into the washer an unusual sensation came over me as if for a half of a second I forgot he was dead. The action of washing his laundry connected me to the time period where I lived as his wife; filling me with illusion that he may indeed need to wear these shirts this week. My mind convinced me it was a good thing I was finally getting around to washing them.
Right about the point where I began to think he would be appreciative of my kind gesture to take care of him, the developing fantasy vanished and I knew immediately the truth was still the truth. He can never come home. Not to our home. He is in a different home that I have never seen yet earn to reside in eternally one day. No matter what I wash or what I ignore he can’t come back.
This is what makes a statement out of a bag of t-shirts. Without even trying the shirts acknowledge the grieving process through healing. A series of motions which do not conform to a certain pattern or timeline. Only steps. In various directions. Trying to find what we call home.