I think I’m feeling ok & then I feel it in my throat. Overwhelming saddness, loneliness. All it took was lighting some incense. Something I never really did before; something my mother always did when I was younger. I found the incense among her things. I just felt the need to burn it now, this minute. One whiff & there was another reminder that she’s not here.

It’s the smallest things really. From the urge to call her on my way home from work, or to tell her what I saw the neighbors do today. It’s throwing away food in the freezer that she bought & I’ll never eat to make room for the things I just bought that she’ll never eat. It’s taking her bathroom towel down to wash it with the others & instead of putting it back when it’s dry, folding it & putting it away. It’s leaving a tea box out on the kitchen counter now, when before I always put it away because she didn’t like it out. It’s leaving my folded clothes on the dryer because it’s not going to bother her. It’s returning a call made to her & having to tell that person she’s not here. It’s lighting a cone of incense & breathing in a smell that takes me back decades.

I need to clean out the refrigerator, but I can’t. I need to throw out the leftovers from some restaurant she went to. I need to toss the half-finished bottle of Coke that she was drinking. I need to clean out the container filled with ice tea she made just a few days before. It’s been 5 weeks & I still haven’t done it. I physically can’t. I just keep pushing her things to the back to make room for my own, the new, things.

It’s stupid things.

Image: selva via flickr

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