Heavy Lifting

Like many families in the United States ours has entirely too much stuff.

Homeschooling four children over twenty years and living in the same house for longer than that added to the pile of memories and tokens tucked in boxes and corners.

This week I decided (along with my youngest son) to tackle a couple of storage buildings we have. It was definitely time to clean out, throw out and pare down the piles.

So together we opened the doors and dug in.

Boxes that hadn’t been opened for years spilled out souvenirs from childhood, teen years and early adulthood. It was tempting to get lost in remembering but the heat of summer spurred us on.

More than once tears threatened and I had to take a deep breath to keep going.

Cleaning out is especially hard on my heart.

Just a couple months before Dominic ran ahead to Heaven I had gone through a ton of homeschooling papers, memorabilia and odds and ends, gleefully culling them down to a few representative bits I thought I’d box or scrapbook into a keepsake for each child.

I filled my truck bed with boxes and boxes and took it to the dump. I enjoyed tossing them on the pile and relished the now organized space left at home.

What felt like freedom then, feels like regret and longing now.

Because what I have left of the physical presence of my son is represented in the scraps I have kept-the clothes, the notes, the scribbled comments in the margins of his notebooks and college texts.

So I’m careful about what gets tossed and what I keep.

And regardless how many bins and boxes I sort through on a given day, I’m exhausted by the end of it.

It’s ALL heavy lifting for my heart even when it’s light in my arms.

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

7 thoughts on “Heavy Lifting”

  1. We had down sized our home a few years before Luke chose to go on ahead so like you Melanie, I had already sifted through the two boys’ things who had their own places. Both had chosen what they wanted keeping. Luke in particular was not one for keeping things so there are not that main things left.
    All of us have particular things of his which we treasure though, be it his guitars, cookery books, crockery, utensils, clothes that are still worn…all of it holds such love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am in that process at the moment, 2 years after my son, my only child, passed. I am selling some of his things, and I cry every time something goes. He understands.
    Miss you, my son.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would love to know how you decide what to keep. Eight years down the road, I have so many things of my son’s that I can’t bear to part with. The one good part is, because he was a carpenter and had many of his tools in my garage, I decided to ‘follow in his footsteps’ and become a woodworker. But each time I release something that he wore or used, it’s like letting go of another little piece of him. How do YOU decide?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right now I’m holding onto those things which, like your son’s tools, define my son to me. He was a drummer so obviously I’m keeping those. He also had a keen eye when he decorated his first apartment so I’ve kept most of the furnishings and they have a new home in my house or in his siblings’ houses. Certain items that were dear to him or that bear his mark (handwriting, taste, ticket stubs, photos, etc) I keep. I’ve been able to release some nondescript things that don’t really scream, “Dominic” to my heart. Honestly, I’m still keeping most things at this point. I hope to turn some of his clothing into quilts eventually.

      I LOVE that you are using your son’s tools! What a joy to place your hands where his once were. Praying that the Lord greets you each day with the grace and strength you need. ❤


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