[Fiction] A piece of flash fiction about grief and the difficult work we have to do for ourselves.


Picture courtesy of free photo library PX Here

I’ve been planning this day for weeks and I’m still not sure how to face it.

Your clothes stare me down in our closet, far over the dividing line, pushing mine into the corner. The dress I’d worn to your funeral is hung lopsided on the door. I couldn’t bear the idea of struggling to fit it back in, our closet full to bursting. It’s been five months, but somehow this is even harder than I’d imagined.

“Okay.” Two deep breaths shake through my torso. “If, somehow, you came back, walked through that door today…”

The plaids in front of my eyes swim, blurring into a sea of warm tones, like a sunset after a long day.

“… the last thing we’d care about is your clothes.”

“I’d buy you new clothes.” I promise in a whisper, looking up. My hand reaches out, taking the first hanger. It doesn’t come out easily, all tangled with the others, but eventually it gives. I take the oversized button up off its hanger, folding it neatly and placing it gently in a large cardboard box.

***

Three hours and two breaks to re-hydrate later, the boxes are closed and waiting in a corner of my room. I see now why so many people offered to do this for me. Somehow though, that felt even harder. I’d planned to take everything to be donated today, like ripping off a band aid, but I think I’m going to wait. I take a moment to spread my clothes out across the rack, letting them breathe, making sure that each and every one of them has a little bit of space.

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