A Brave Step (in the right direction)

In August, two items were returned to me by the police (actually, there were four items returned to me, but two of them I desperately wanted, whilst the other two were unexpected). I was expecting to collect his mobile phone and the stuck together letter, but was also given the rope Barry had bought to end his life and the snipers he used to cut it. I know that technically these items belong to me, but … can you imagine the images they planted in my mind? It really isn’t fair to do that to a mother, especially when that mother was just starting to find her feet again. And what was I supposed to do with these items? Just put them away and use them when needed? I don’t think so!

At the time, I could not and would not through the rope or snipers away. It sounds crazy, but these items were the last things Barry handled before he died. It was because of this one fact that I refused to throw them away, no matter how distressing I found the sight of the items to be (especially the rope).

I knew, without any doubt, that one day I would have the courage to get rid of these things. As I said above, what would I do with them if I didn’t? I could never use the rope. Maybe I could give it away, but that didn’t feel right either.

Anyway, today is “bin night”, which means we put our rubbish out to be collected in the morning. Tonight, I went into my room and took out the two evidence bags which held the rope and snipers from their hiding place. I opened each and looked at the contents, surprising myself at how calm I felt inside. I removed the snipers and put them away. For some reason, this item doesn’t feel sinister to me and I could use them in the future. (But I’m aware of the fact that maybe Daniel or Gary will feel differently, and one of them might throw them away at some stage. I would not stop them if they wanted to do this.) Then I took one final look at the rope, returned the evidence bag (together with the empty bag that held the snipers) to the box the police had given me to carry the objects in and I walked outside.

I walked straight up to the garbage bin and threw the lot away. I felt no sorrow, fear, worry or regret when I did this and, to me, that’s a good sign that this is the right time for me to do this.

I think that it was important that I do this myself, and not have someone else do it on my behalf. The reason I believe this, is because my decision and my actions are therapy. I made the decision a week ago, but missed “bin night” and didn’t want to put the objects in the bin and leave them there all week. However, tonight, the bin will be emptied by the time I wake up in the morning. The items I have thrown away will never return to me and will never again be seen by me. Some people might think I’m morbid for taking so long to make this decision, but in grief, some things cannot be rushed.

For me, this is the right time and I feel happy that I was brave enough to take a step in the right direction.


2 thoughts on “A Brave Step (in the right direction)

  1. Karen, I don’t think it is morbid at all to have kept those things this long. I still have a message from my aunt on my answering machine, although it is eleven months since she passed away. I rarely even let it play (and it’s only a few words, nothing significant), but I’m not ready to erase it yet. I just like to know it’s there. At first, if it played by accident, it would make me cry, but now if I hear it I feel warm and close to her. I’m sure some people would think this horrible and morbid, but everyone is different.

    Someday I will erase it, or it will be erased by accident, but it will be okay. It will have served its purposed in helping me along.

  2. Isn’t it strange what we do to remember? I have Barry singing a message on our answering machine. I heard it three times in five minutes (by accident) and sobbed uncontrolably. I don’t think I’m ready to hear it again yet, but I know I’ll want to hear it repeatedly at some stage.

    Last night, once I confessed that I had finally thrown away those items, Gary confided that he has kept a petrol can because Barry stood on it. We have no use for it (it leaks), but Gary can’t bring himself to throw it away. Yet that item means nothing to me.

    Everyone is different. As I said a few days ago, we travel at different speeds, but we also treasure different memories.

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