In Need Of Some Practical AdviceI have a question for you, well, several actually. It concerns the flotsam of our relationship, you know, the stuff left behind. I would appreciate it if you could share with me how you have managed to so deftly and effortlessly dispose of it all. I have quite a formidable pile over here and I seem to be at a loss as to how to handle it. I figured you’d know what to do, as so much of what I’ve got, you had at one time too. Please help me.
It started with a dress, a sundress I bought at your urging. When I saw that thing hanging in the store my eyes lit up. It was not anything I ever would have bought for myself but I knew it would make you happy and it did. You would ask me to twirl like a child and I would dance and you would look at me admiringly and it was fun because you made me feel attractive and young and desirable in a way that was foreign to me until you came into my life. I have many dresses like that one, and a rather large lingerie drawer, filled to capacity, all bought for your pleasure and because I felt pretty in them, and ultimately I felt loved when I wore it all. I have a closet and dresser full at this point. They all still fit but I cannot wear them because they remind me of you, of the joy I felt. What should I do with them, a tag sale perhaps? Maybe offer them to the consignment shop? Or should I put them all in a large garbage bag and just put them out with the trash? Don’t know. It is a dilemma.
I have a cigar box filled with cards and notes, all saying “I love you” and dotted with little xx’s and oo’s, things I’ve cherished now for years. What does one do with the pictures, and the handwritten, tearstained keepsakes when the sentiment no longer applies? Do people burn them; sacrifice them to the god of lost love and unbearable heartache? Is there such a god that can offer redemption, a baptism of sorts so that I can wash it all away and start anew, my heart open to love and a rejuvenated life view? What did you do? You had pictures of me, things I had given you over the years. How did you dispose of them? I need to know.
How about computer stuff? I for one have quite a treasure trove of things shared, emails…years of emails, and pictures so many that I believe I am pushing my storage capacity limit. At one time you had even more than me as I had deleted some along the way and you had not. It is mostly the pictures that hurt, snapshots of happier times. I was quick with the camera—even provided you with your cherished Facebook photo; and while we’re on the subject, what to do with all the naked stuff? I’d be lying if I said it didn’t still get me aroused, so it has value, but alas, mostly it just makes me cry. Maybe you have it all in a file somewhere, never to be opened again. That is convenient, and practical. Maybe someday when you are gone someone will open it and they will ask themselves what possible relevance this woman could have had in your life. Maybe it will be like a mystery, an unsolved mystery, but since there are no pictures of the two of us together in existence they will never be able to figure it out, unless I outlive you—then I will tell them everything if I am ever asked. I will say, “For a long while there he loved me and I loved him and it was passionate and wonderful. And then he didn’t anymore. End of story.”
I saved the hardest for last; it troubles me the most I’m sad to say, but I am sincere with my inquiry. How do you manage, you the one wholly incapable of compartmentalizing, how do you manage the memories? Are they in a special file as well? Are they packed up there in your hippocampus, stored away as stuff in the attic would be, forgotten? If you could give me some tips as far as this is concerned I’d say we could just forget all the other stuff I brought up here, as it would all pretty much be moot if I could manage the memory part.
I remember lying with you, the feel of you, kissing you, being held by you, I would pull away after a moment and you would grab me back, not wanting to let go. I remember that, how you would enfold me in your jacket, clinging to me, making me feel safe and so loved. We would stand there long after our first attempt at parting, not wanting to separate. No one has ever hugged me like that. You made even the mundane special, and I cannot forget it, how loved I felt.
I can remember riding with you, holding hands, toasting, laughing, singing, sharing lyrics, you made it all fun for me, and I tried my best to offer the same for you, often dropping everything at the sound of your voice, offering you the best of me, the best that I could muster, all in an effort to make you smile, to make you happy. When you do all those things with someone else, do the memories of me ever break through? They do for me. What advice do you have for me? How do I make it stop?
My soul is so infused with pain at this point that I don’t know if I can call it love, but there is this thing, this thing that won’t let go of me, a tugging, a nagging ache, and it is in my bones. And there are echoes in my head. You said to me “You are the love of my life. I love everything about you. All of my other relationships pale in comparison. You are my heart’s desire. You are my future. Someday it will not be like this. Someday we will be free to love one another.” And I said, “I will wait, because I love you.”
So I waited, because you were so convincing you made me believe you. But you never came back to me. I’ve stopped waiting, but as for all the rest of it, what do I do with it all? It is cluttering up my life and I need to straighten it all out. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
How did you do it?