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Tossing the house

Updated: May 8, 2023

I’ve been wondering if, or when, I’m going to stop rearranging the furniture in my house--because I’ve been like, literally, tossing my house. It’s becoming a little bit maddening, and I’m questioning my sanity, and I think I might be testing my friend Dawn’s sanity too. Because she, in her kindness, keeps helping me rehang the artwork on the walls, rearrange the stuff on the shelves, and put some kind of order back into the disorder that I am continually creating. Thank goodness for friends like Dawn.

Because the truth is that my son Chad died in June of 2019, and I am, for some reason, constantly moving stuff around in my house. And then it gets sort of put back, or re-put back, and then I dismantle it all over again. I know what I’m doing; I’m creating chaos, reordering it, and then creating it again. I’m trying really hard not to do this, but something inside of me is compelling me.

Just telling you about it causes me a little bit of anxiety and kind of makes my head feel weird, the way your head might feel when you put on reading glasses and then you accidentally wear them while you’re driving. Like, whoa. Or the way you might feel when you wake up far too early, and you don’t go back to sleep, and then around 8 or 9 am, you get that nauseous feeling, like, whoa. That’s the kind of feeling I get talking about this.

My office is the perfect example of this tossing-the-house thing. This grieving-mother-gone-almost-but-not-quite-berserk. It’s probably been rearranged at least six times during the last two years. Twice in the last three months. Let me tell you, I’m getting to be an expert at untangling and making nice-nice with all the computer and internet cords.

And then there’s the contraption I bought a few years ago to sit on top of the desk so I can stand while I’m working. That thing has really wreaked some havoc--because when I decide to move that around or take it off the desk, the artwork hanging on the wall behind it gets all jacked up in the decorating scheme of things. And to think that I care--but I actually do. This also messes with the fact that sometimes I think that I don’t need to stand at my desk anymore, that my hips aren’t torqued, and my neck isn’t twisted up from working on a computer all day. Or from stress.

Stress, what stress? Oh yeah, that’s right. I lost my son.

And everything around me stayed the same, except me. Life kept going on in an alternate reality that isn’t my reality anymore.

But let me continue. I decided yet again to move the make-your-desk-into-a-stand-up-desk contraption, which is a huge process, by the way, not to mention it’s heavy, and I put it under the bed in the guest room, and I sat in front of my computer on a normal chair, and I was pleased as punch--for a few weeks. Until I realized that maybe the problems I’ve been having, the aches and pain lately, could possibly be due to the fact that I’ve been sitting at a computer all day.

Imagine that. Imagine me thinking something clearly.

But I think you and I know what’s really happening here. I’m trying to re-order some things in my brain and in my soul. I’m trying to re-shuffle--because I just can’t really believe that my son Chad is really gone, goodbye, gone, gone for good now for the rest of my life here on this earth. I just can’t grasp that yet.

So I keep subconsciously trying to make order out of disorder, and somehow somewhere, some part of me thinks that by tossing rooms and rearranging them and then tossing them again a few weeks later, somehow things will get better. That things will maybe get okay. But things aren’t going to get better or okay by creating chaos in my house and then reordering it and then creating more chaos. Or maybe they will. Maybe they really will. I wonder if this is part of the process or if I am somehow stuck in this. I don’t know.

In any case, it’s part of my process, and my process is the only process that works for me. Just like your process is the only process that works for you. And I honor that, and I hope that you also honor your process.

Whatever you’re doing to get through this, it’s the right way for you--unless, of course, you’re going down the bottle, or doing other things that could be harmful to you. And if that’s the case, please don’t do those things.

Now back to the furniture, the blessed and damned furniture….

I can report that I am making progress with my rearranging and reshuffling issue. I finally stopped tossing the living room. Dawn, that dear friend I mentioned earlier, lovingly arranged (again) everything back on the shelves and took away the crazy junk I thought would go with things but didn’t--and she helped me decide on a neutral palette for the pillows and the throw blankets, and we fixed it all up. And I promised myself I wouldn’t change anything for a long time.

I mean, so what if it looks like eternal springtime in my living room, complete with fake pink tulips in a vase on the coffee table? Hope springs eternal, right? Things could be a lot worse than a living room that looks like eternal springtime. You know that, and I know that. So I’ll keep the living room that way for a while, til the holidays--and then all the red stuff can come out.

Maybe by then, I’ll have it figured out. In the meantime, I’m going to hope for that. I’m going to hope for that and for a whole lot of other things. I mean, I have to believe that it can’t get worse. I mean, really. But let's say that it does. I know I can handle it. I can handle anything now. Now that I’ve handled the loss of my son Chad, now that I’m handling THIS. This life afterward.

I can do this. I can get really good at untangling computer and internet cords.

And also untangling the matching mess in my brain.

And so can you.

(originally posted on August 24, 2021)

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2 comentários

I’m redoing my house. New kitchen and bathrooms, paint, shades, carpet and some furniture. I’ve always loved new things in my home. And I enjoyed the process of choosing new things. Not this time. I like what I’m doing. But the process isn’t giving me fun and joy like it used to. I just told my husband I’m ok but things like this no longer make me feel happy. I want to do it because it needs to be done. But I always feel the loss of my son Matt. New furniture, kitchen and paint are needed but they can’t take away the loss that lives in my heart every day.


It sounds like rearranging is helpful. I say do whatever brings you peace.

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