Tidying up our dead

Charles Cowling

Very nice piece in the Washington Post by Tracy Grant:

Closets are odd creatures … In starter homes, newlywed husbands tease their brides that all their clothes will never fit in that closet. When the homebuyers are upscale, the closets can boast more square footage than some Manhattan apartments.

But talk to any adult child who has packed up a parent’s closet after a move to an assisted living facility or a death, and you know why these small, painfully intimate spaces are the stuff of metaphor. Closets, like our lives, can be messy.

For almost exactly three years after my husband died, I left our closet untouched. There were a host of easy rationalizations. I didn’t need the space. His clothes weren’t bothering me; why should they bother anyone else? There were also loftier justifications. The week after he died, a dear friend offered to come over and help me go through the closet. It seemed as ludicrous to me as when the funeral director suggested that he take Bill’s glasses and donate them to the Lion’s Club. “But he needs his things,” I wanted to scream.

I would come to refer to this as my Joan Didion moment. As she recounts in her memoir “The Year of Magical Thinking,” she refused to give husband John Gregory Dunne’s loafers away because if he came back, he would need his shoes.

Read the rest of it here.

PS Does anyone know how to change font and font colour in WordPress? Do tell me, please!

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