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Bittersweet, but necessary...

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Phoenix1 posted 7/26/2014 22:35 PM

Spent about an hour starting to go through things in DS's bedroom. Throwing away the obvious trash and leaving other stuff for another time. Couldn't do it for much longer, too difficult. Had to get the process going without ex because he feels a need to keep everything and make a shrine out of it. I am a little more practical and don't see the point of keeping a half eaten candy bar or underwear. Ran across his stack of Playboy mags and it made me chuckle. We are a very open family, and I knew he had them. In fact, DD22 bought him the subscription for his 18th birthday gift! So with a smile, I put them in a trash bag. There is SO much more to do, but plan to do a little at a time to keep it emotionally manageable.

Also finished up a memorial cross to put on the front of his mud truck. This was his very first vehicle, a '86 Ford F-150, that he converted for mudding (big tires, lift kit, etc.). That was his baby, known affectionately as Ol' Blue. It has been sitting in my yard and I have lovingly been starting it up and driving short distances to rotate the tires throughout his enlistment. Still do it. He told me he would never get rid of her, so she will stay with me (along with his regular truck and motorcycle) wherever I go. I told DDs to think about Ol' Blue's future because eventually she will fall in their lap.

Between my vehicle, DD17's jacked up truck, and all of DS's vehicles, my yard looks like a used car lot!

I have also found a solution for all DS's military ACUs. It's not like anyone can really use them. A friend of my deceased brother offered to make a quilt for me. I asked her if she would make two, and she readily agreed. She is going to make a quilt out of DS's military clothing for each DD, and she is going to create a hand with a pen on the reverse side so I can write a letter to each DD. I ran the idea by ex and he was actually on board (not before saying, "But I want xyz first..."). This will be a surprise for the girls I think they will really find meaningful.

I also found sterling silver lockets for them (and me) that are in the shape of angel's wings that I am going to put his pic in along with a lock of hair I had the funeral director get for me (he gave me plenty for three lockets). The girls know the significance of DS's hair to me, so this should really hit home with them in a positive way.

Lastly, I found some of his extra dog tags. I also found a place online where I could order custom dog tags. I am going to give each DD one of his dog tags with a custom tag on a chain that is imprinted with, " Forever remembered, always loved" along with his name and birth/death dates. They don't know this is coming their way either...

I know they will be touched, and I hope they appreciate the effort. I really don't need physical stuff from him because he is always with me in my memories and my heart.

Very bittersweet indeed, but I'm okay.

nowiknow23 posted 7/26/2014 22:47 PM

What wonderful and thoughtful remembrances, Phoenix.

GabyBaby posted 7/26/2014 23:18 PM

((( Phoenix )))
The quilt idea is fantastic. Your DDs are going to love them.

Want2help posted 7/26/2014 23:21 PM

Absolutely beautiful.


Phoenix1 posted 7/26/2014 23:34 PM

Oh, forgot to mention that DD17 and I also burned my funeral clothing today in our outdoor fire pit. Glad to see those clothes gone so it was somewhat cathartic. It was also appropriate, if not downright ironic, that we burned them in the fire pit my brother built, the same bro so close to DS and lost in the mud slide. The same fire pit my ex hated because my brother built it when ex was gone at one point (a control thing). I told DD17 we were going to christen it the "Uncle S Memorial Fire Pit." She thought that was perfect. Funeral clothes are now a pile of ashes...

fraeuken posted 7/26/2014 23:49 PM

Phoenix, just beautiful. So much grace in the way you deal with it. Your story was talked about on KQED, and I thought what an honor to know of you as a member of this site and reading your posts. You are an inspiration.

FaithFool posted 7/27/2014 10:38 AM


You should write a book.

DeadMumWalking posted 7/27/2014 13:50 PM


Your thoughtfulness and grace during this most difficult time are impressive. These mementos will be treasured by your DDs forever.

You take your time on the cleanup. There's not a time limit on that. It's good that you are managing to do it in bite-sized chunks.


devasted30 posted 7/27/2014 13:59 PM

((((Phoenix1)))) the quilts sound like a great idea. Something they can carry with them throughout their lives as a constant reminder to a loved one lost way too soon.
Hang in there P1, you are an inspiration to us all.

looking forward posted 7/27/2014 20:37 PM


Like your name, you are not only rising from the ashes of the catastrophic events of your losses, but you are also beautiful, unique, and an inspiration for all of us.
Best wishes for continued healing,

norabird posted 7/28/2014 09:53 AM

Yet again I am crying. What beautiful, beautiful ways to remember DS and your bro. Your DD's will be so touched and you are eminently right that his memory is inside of you, not in any things (except perhaps ol blue).


JanaGreen posted 7/28/2014 09:59 AM


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