A clear out brings back memories
I've spent the last few days clearing out Ash's clothes. You might think this is a bit soon or you might wonder why I didn't do it before especially as, for the last few years, he would only dress in black. Black trousers, black shirt, black sweatshirt, even black underwear, so much black everywhere and, mostly, it suited his mood until that's how I thought of him.
The clear out though reminded me of another Ash; one who wore bright colours, who owned suits (five of them to be precise), who donned bright bow ties with a wing collared shirt, who sported what we called his 'whacky hat' when ski-ing or out in cold weather. All these showed me that I wasn't mistaken in the man whose life I've shared for forty six years. He wasn't always anxious or mean spirited or dour, he used to be such a fun human being. He used to make me laugh, took me on adventures, taught me to seek out the good times and to enjoy life.
Dementia stole that person from me; the man who wasn't afraid of anything, who lived for today and never worried about tomorrow, but clearing out his wardrobe brought Ash back to me with great force.
I had worried that getting rid of his stuff would upset me, that I'd feel as though I was getting rid of him too. It turns out that it had the opposite effect and I thought some of you might need to know, might find it comforting to discover that sometimes the things we think will be the hardest actually help to bring back the good times.
The last few years have been dreadful and I'd begun to forget the good times but, as I worked my way through the wardrobe, the shelves and the drawers I found myself smiling at the memories for the first time in a very long while.
And this photo shows exactly who he was. I thought you might like to see.