Shortly after the bottom fell out of my world, when I was just starting to pick up the pieces, I spent the morning completing a purge of sorts. I gathered up all those things that existed as evidence of life before the change. Photos. Letters. Cards. Journal entries. Trinkets. Gifts. I put them all in a paper bag and labelled it, then set it in the attic to be forgotten. It seemed very symbolic. Like I said, a purge. If I could get all the past out of the way, the future would be apparent.

A day or so later, it became clear that objects only have what meaning you assign them. Putting all those things out of sight didn't really change my perception of my world, my situation. It didn't make some memories less painful, didn't make any truths more bearable. It certainly didn't erase nearly a decade of living and loving. Now, nearly a month later, I'm certain those objects are only objects. They are not symbols of anything, unless I make them so.

What jumpstarts healing is not a purge, but a change of mindset. A determination to show love and compassion and understanding, to be gentle and kind as much as possible, to be true to yourself and your situation. Healing will take a while, I know that. But I won't travel that road alone, and I won't be haunted by the things that are just that, only things.


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