The spare room in our house became Liane's room over the years - a walk in wardrobe of sorts with a desk of makeup and clothes across most surfaces. It was a busy, warm and messy room - a microcosm of our house- and a little haven of procrastination. This week with Liane's mum and her sister I emptied the room.
I'd feared the room for so long - piles of memories, clothes I love on her, make up that won't be used again, books we'd shared, her little CD player with "mixtape" CDs I'd given her way back when... But when we got in to it and started the weight fell off my shoulders. It became an exercise in group therapy almost - laughing, crying, sorting, chatting. It helped. Like many of the obstacles I've faced, attacking it head on and with others helped enormously. It even became cathartic watching the clothes go into bags and thinking they'll help other people done the line. Before we realised it we'd cleared drawers, a wardrobe, tables, chairs and the floor (!) of everything. We'd done it. We'd faced something hard and come out the other side.
There's many difficult parts to the process I am going through, some of them predicted - pain, sorrow, anger, helplessness - but there are also purely positive moments of strength, humour, love, growth and more. Standing amongst her clothes holding an old photograph with the warmth of two of the most important people in her life standing beside me was one such moment. We got through a really tough task together and through tears with a smile. It was an evening I won't forget for a long time.
"She'd hate to see us all upset" is something I cling to as I bundle on forwards and it's as true an ideal as any I've got. She was always a bright and positive shoulder to lean on and that is what I want to be for those around me. Another brick in the new wall.