One priority that I've set for this month is to go thru mom's things and pack them for my brother and father. It allows me to spend some time with memories, for those objects evoke plenty of shared CorningWare and her haluski electric pan, because he is a good and frequent cook, and so would use them often.
That was a huge tenet for mom; use it. Don't place it in a closet, keeping it for posterity. Use it. Fine, if you want to keep something for "special use", such as Grandma's lace tablecloth at Christmas dinner. But use it. Otherwise, you've been hiding it. Your kids need to make their own memories with those old family items, otherwise it loses meaning and when it becomes theirs, they don't have a special memory that is dear to them to assign to that object.
If something is a gift, of course, it is yours to do with as you please. But she'd rather see you use it than have it be relegated to the closet and have no special place in your life. She'd say that she put the time and effort into it, so that it can be useful and beautiful, practical and pretty, functional and fantastic. She never made a fuss over broken dishes, and believe me, I've broken plenty over the years and shed tears. And mom would shrug and say that when you use things, sometimes they fall, fall apart, shatter, break, get chipped, whatever.
And if you notice, the patina from use gives the piece a well~loved finish. It feels comfortable in your hand, and you can feel those memories of those hands who held this before you, and that can make your heart very happy indeed.
Mom has been dead for six months now. I miss her, every day I think of something to share. But that sharpness, a keening grief that leaves me breathless doesn't happen quite as often. I still am hit at odd times, such as in the dentist's chair during my cleaning yesterday; but I'm not completely shattered each time her absence is apparent, in an endless series of blows that leaves me worn and frazzled.
This morning, while I was sorting, packing, and placing items at her place; I was sure to take the time to sit still and be with myself, with mom, with memories, with Jerry, and be in the present as well as giggle over this gadget or that picture or the quick flash of her scruching her face up to put me at ease and not take it all so seriously. After awhile tho, I was filthy, covered in sweat and Foxy's fur. So I knew it was time to call it a day, and head home for a shower, before I did something stupid like wipe my eyes with cat dander coated fingers.
I feel fine, I know what I'm doing, what the plan is, how to do this, and I have time, to do it right, to take my time and give myself what I need, when I need it. I have grown into the person I am, and am glad that I have this ability to handle things this way. And I am so very loved, so very supported, and so very fortunate to have Jerry in my life, to help me thru all this.