I didn't want to do it, but I knew it was inevitable. It had to be done, would be done, eventually.
So I slowly ascended the stairs, in the dead-quiet, and as I knew it would happen, the emotions got the best of me, and I let them. I entered the bedroom, the room now devoid of their breathing, of their laughter, of their souls, of all the things that belonged to them and made them happy, those things that are them. I stood there, in the middle of the room, crying. Letting it go. Letting them go.
The closet...nothing remains of them. There are no clothes. No shoes. Nothing that smells of them. Nothing. Just the packing tape lying in the corner of the top shelf, reminding me of their leaving, yelling at me that there is nothing left. Stop looking for something!
And then I turn around. And on the wall are three posters. Posters that are them. Posters that were left behind. Japan, San Francisco, Chamonix-Martigny. Were they left behind on purpose? I don't know. I don't care. Right now, they make me happy. They remind me that no matter where my loved ones venture, something will always be left behind.
Memories. Grand memories. Memories of laughter, of sharing meals, of sharing thoughts and feelings, of the ever-present sarcastic remark made in pure fun.
I will remember this last year, once I finish mourning their leaving. I will remember the shared menu planning and dinner making. I will remember all of the times we sat at the kitchen table eating a gourmet meal made by them and talking until there was no more talking. And the many soups. Ah, the soups! I will remember the shared fire in the fireplace. I will remember their faces, the smiles, the comic looks, how his smile couldn't be any bigger. How beautiful she looks in the mornings. How she is never without something kind to say, something sweet.
Hopefully these memories will fill the void that is left by their leaving.
But I know what's going to happen. I know that when I make that first pot of soup my emotions will get the best of me. I know that when I go to chop something on the cutting board, it won't be there. I know that when I wake up tomorrow morning and they are not here to say "Good Morning," the tears will come. When 4:45pm rolls around on Monday, I will be waiting for her to come home from her job and then jump into the pool. And I know I will wait all week long for Friday to come around so that he'll drive in from working all week. I know full well that neither of them will be here. But I will still wait by the door, waiting for it to open, as long as it takes for that door to open again.