I was walking around my house this morning just kinda looking around and enjoying the moment and it was in this moment that I realized that I was still holding on to every memory of Liberty that I could. I had her chewed up toys, her food and water station and all of her dog beds (yes she had more than one). I realized in that moment that I was holding on to these things because I wasn’t ready to physically let go of her memories. I also knew at that moment that while I wanted to hold on to these memories, these things weren’t helping me remember her, they were keeping me in a very sad place. BUT was it time to let them go? I stood there for a moment because I didn’t have the answer. I didn’t know what to do and I kept asking myself…
When is it time to let go?
I recently lost my beloved best friend and fur baby Liberty and it knocked me on my ass. Yes, I knew she was old and yes I knew she wouldn’t live forever but I still wasn’t ready for the day that I had to say “goodbye”. I personally don’t think we are ever truly ready to say goodbye to someone we love, but that’s just my opinion.
I was standing there thinking to myself that I should be an expert by this by now. I have lived through the loss of my sister, my dad and my mom. You would think I would have had this answer down pat by now. But clearly I did not because I was still vacuuming around empty dog beds and there was still a bowl of dry dog food what wasn’t going anywhere on it’s own.
As I stood there I thought about how I had rented a storage unit after my Mom passed away to store all of my parents furniture (trust me this was not cheap and I did this for over 5 years). During those 5 years I kept telling myself that I was doing this because my boys would want that furniture for when they had a place of their own. When that didn’t happen I told myself that they would want it when they get a larger place to live and would need more furniture. When that didn’t happen I finally just told myself that I was holding on to everything because I wasn’t ready to physically let go of their items. I mean at least at that point I was being honest with myself.
So month after month I paid the storage fees and month after month I kept everything. It wasn’t until I quit my corporate job did I finally let go of their items. Trust me it wasn’t by choice, it was by necessity. I just couldn’t afford the monthly payment any more. I do I have to tell you, while we were loading up the uHaul it felt right and I knew it was time. It was probably the right time years ago but I told myself it was the right time for me that moment and I took that as a small victory. We loaded up the uHaul and donated everything to Goodwill. You are probably thinking that this is the end of this part of the story and you would be wrong.
Now being that I me – I went to Goodwill and sat on the couch and cried every chance I got. I can only imagine what people thought when they walked by but I just didn’t care. What I cared about was I knew that one day I would walk into the store they would be gone so I was going to sit there while I could. We did have a close call one time when a man and woman walked by and started talking about the couches. Now to give you an idea of what I was sitting on, my parents had bought the couches during the height of the Southwest phase. So the couches were salmon, cream and green with a desert theme. I know they were old dated but so what, my parents were dated. Anyway, I was sitting there and the husband mentions the couches and then looks at this wife. I instantly knew that there could be trouble. So I sat there with my eyes closed and kept repeating in my head “please don’t say anything mean, please don’t say anything mean, oh please don’t say anything mean”. Because yes, I would have taken that as a direct insult to my parents and their outdated taste. So I slowly open my eyes and wait for her to open her mouth. I gotta tell you, it was close. She didn’t like the couches (okay I could live with that), but she didn’t mock them either (I was thankful for that). She had have a bit of a smirk on her face but all those years of sobriety and all those years of learning to let my anger go really paid off at the moment and let that smirk go. I knew at that moment that I had to leave the store and get a grip. I knew I had to let the couches go and couldn’t fight people at Goodwill. Those couches were not my parents.
So as I stood there looking at Liberty’s toys and beds I knew it was time to let her things go. I knew that the only thing that those items were doing was keeping me locked in the pain of loosing her. I knew this and yet I still don’t want to let them go. But I did. I packed up her beds and donated them to an animal rescue. I threw away her chewed up toys and bowls. I packed everything else up and put away for a new dog one day and I let them go. I let the physical items go.
I personally don’t think that there is a right time on when it’s time to let go. I think each person needs to determine what works best for them and go with that. My only suggestion from the bottom of my heart is this. If you are holding onto physical items from someone you have lost and those items bring you joy, hold on to them and hold them close to your heart. If you are holding onto items and it’s making you sad or bringing you pain, it might be time to let go. Hurting ourselves because we miss someone we love doesn’t bring them back. My mom always use to say “Dying is easy, being left behind is tough”. Damn she was right I this one.
I know in my heart that Liberty will always be in my heart and that’s where she continue to live. I don’t need those physical daily reminders to remember her because I will never forget her.
Until next time.