March 3rd -Clutter- Chris Ritchey

March 3, 2017 at 2:42 pm 8 comments

chrisart collage

It is snowing – probably more snow falling in the last 24 hours than we have had all winter. I knew the 65 degree February days were just teasing us into a false sense of spring. The wind and snow have blinded the view from the den, my eyes can only see the trees and garden, dancing white swirls blocking the ugliness of reality for just a brief while. I honestly don’t know where the hours days weeks and months have gone since you died -they seem to have disappeared or not been lived. I am constantly surprised when seeing the date or year number.

After you died I spent the days “preparing” – I cleaned out closets, threw away things that wouldn’t mean anything to anyone but me. I prepared the house and my life for my death. You see, I really believed I would not be able to live with this gutting grief and yes physical pain. I was sure I would join you before 6 months was out. That didn’t happen, I am still here on yet another March the 3rd along with an aching coldness that will not pass even in summer…….

The closets have acquired more “stuff”, the house- which I had decluttered became even more cluttered when Nana came to live and I had to put 6 rooms of her “stuff” into this house. Life and clutter carried on to the point there will be more to deal with in this house than before.
Then with all the talk of “government” and “immigration” the wondering hit me-

just what did I do with my citizenship papers , passport etc

I knew I had put them safe somewhere . The strange thing about having a brain in pieces parts , divided up, one part living in 2009- the part that functions independently of my consciousness – the sleeping brain, that doesn’t -that bleeds over into mornings so another part has to decide

is that a memory , did that happen or was that the part of my brain trying to sort through the clutter?

the regular daily functions, we all experience, gets lost somewhere along with the happiness part – which sometimes does make an appearance. In all this brain clutter I couldn’t remember , for the life of me , where these very important papers ended up. The problem was neither could your father, we are both on “automatic pilot brain function” most of the time.

As we searched the probable places , I purchased a fire proof lock box for these items, your nana’s important papers and dad’s. Your dad informing me we had two lock boxes in the basement , which he couldn’t find . I had visions of us running from the upstairs to the basement and den in an emergency trying to find lock boxes and Nana’s important stuff, dads “stuff” and mine, No! I had to gather all this “stuff” together for my sake and whomever was eventually going to have to sort through them .

Finally we did find the papers and files. I started to go through them and realized I was sorting my life– my birth certificate, baptismal, marriage certificate, passport, citizenship papers ,social security, mortgage papers, Nikki’s birth certificate and then your birth certificate, baptismal, social security card, graduation … your life papers came to the top of the pile . My brain overloaded- stopped holding back the walls dividing memories, grief, happiness, laughter reality and memories, anger ,pain, loss of hope- the good and the bad and yes the ugly- lessons learned , lessons unlearned all spilling out of the “hoarding” in my mind.
memories ring
I never realized how hard this “preparation” would be – it seemed so simple to transfer those items and yet I should have known, been prepared. Nana came down with her “life ” to be added to the box and I could see she also had been on a journey as she sorted through –

“Oh! Loraine don’t ask me to do that again, that was a very difficult afternoon- it was so hard as the memories wouldn’t stop coming …………….

I love you Chris and I wish I could touch your face, hear your voice, and forget the clutter that is now me………

Artwork Chris Ritchey

Artwork-HARD Chris Ritchey


Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, death, grief, Mothers. Tags: , , , , , .

Lorain Dudes- Maintenance-The Watch- The Walk -The Site The Scold – Lorain- the ducking/cucking stool

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dave  |  March 3, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    You are in my thoughts!!

  • 2. thatwoman  |  March 3, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    thanks Dave I hope I don’t clutter them up 🙂

  • 3. Robert J. Gargasz  |  March 3, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    You hang in there. Rage on against the fading light! Never give up. Your grief is real, but imagine the joy you will have eternally when you see your son again. Heaven’s Gate will be such a great place. We will meet all our loved ones and deceased friends again.

  • 4. thatwoman  |  March 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks Bob –

  • 5. -Alan D Hopewell  |  March 3, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    If it helps, remember….a fat ol’ coloured man prays for you. Even on the NorthCoast, the snow eventually melts, and it’s K-Kream Korner time again.

  • 6. thatwoman  |  March 3, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    everything done with kindness helps Alan and one day we can hopefully share an ice cream from K -Kream at the Watch

  • 7. muley  |  March 4, 2017 at 11:14 am

    miss you……<3

  • 8. thatwoman  |  March 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    miss you too we did have some good times

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