Letters to Chris · Thoughts and More

A Peg for Your Coat

Your coat still hangs in the cupboard under the stairs.

I’ve cleared it out so now it’s on the peg

Rather than just dumped on top of all the crap.

I found a t-shirt that smelt of you.

Dirty obviously, at the bottom of a bag of clothes

I’ve folded it and put it in your drawer

Where your t-shirts, so many t-shirts still remain

After sitting for what seemed like hours just breathing it in.

I hope it smells of you forever.

The bag you last used for hospital, on the floor in the kitchen

Still unpacked.

The flat caps you insisted on wearing, the straw hat I searched for, for holidays

Now on top of the wardrobe, positioned so we can see them.

No new pillow on the bed beside mine

The black panther print pillow, unchanged, stored in your wardrobe on top of your shorts.

The duvet you used downstairs now up in the loft.

Your toothbrush hasn’t moved from the place you last left it.

Your deodorant, aftershave, shower gel, all still where I found them

Just a little straighter on the sides they sit.

I keep the envelopes and scraps of paper you’ve written on

Nothing ever important, saved from the bin as it’s marked with your scruffy scrawl.

The spare drawer of your bedside table now home to your bits

The things I find as I’m tidying and sorting that need a safe home

All the bulky stuff we had in the house

Now gone

Apart from the wheelchairs you bought yourself, I’ve not decided where they’re going yet.

And the black crutches, I’ve put in the loft, because I just couldn’t let them go

The stuff we needed to help

Help make life a little easier

Help keep you independent.

All the stuff I used to moan about

And you were reluctant to get.

Knowing it meant you were not as able as you used to be.

The stuff that got in the way

That I would hang the towels on in the bathroom,

That I would stub my toe on

Or would block the TV

The stuff that made me angry

Frustrated

Not at you

Nor the fact you needed them

But at how unfair everything was.

The stairlift

The wheelchairs

The shower chair, the walking sticks, the crutches, the ramps, the zimmer frame, the bed thing to help you sit up you never got to use.

Now no longer here.

I thought I would be glad to see the back of it

The stuff that added to the clutter of every room.

But I wasn’t

Just another reminder that you are no longer here.

I’m sorting and chucking and decorating

The plans we had for the house I’m seeing through.

But your stuff

The stuff that reminds me of you

Sparking memories, moments, smiles and tears

Still in the place where you left them

Or in the spare drawer of your bedside table

Now home to the bits too precious to throw away.

6 thoughts on “A Peg for Your Coat

  1. I struggled with the stuff after I lost Amy. I wanted to get rid of all the ‘equipment’ straight away, the wheelchair, the ramp, the feeding tubes. It was the personal things I kept. It’s been 8 years now since I lost her and the other day I went through her memory trunk. I can’t believe I’d kept her toothbrush, toothpaste and bonjela! They seemed very important at the time to keep.

  2. That smell on their clothes of them, it never goes away because it lives in your memories forever. Sending you lots of love xx

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