While reorganizing a closet tonight, I stumbled across a bin I'd forgotten about. Opening it was like entering a time portal back to when Greg was alive.
The blood pressure cuff that was once a part of our daily lives - the one that alerted us to the scariest moments of changing heart function- stared up at me. For nearly 3 years it has been packed away - a relic of a past life in which blood pressure and heart rate had to be monitored unceasingly.
There were pill bottles too - the ones that made it through the purge I did weeks after Greg died. I bagged up an armful of medicine bottles and screamed out my rage at the pills that made him feel so sick and in the end couldn't stop his death. Even in my anger that day, I couldn't get rid of them all. I'd spent hours and hours of my life going to the pharmacy, restocking pill cases, making sure he'd remembered to take them... to throw them all away felt too much like throwing away an integral part of our life together. It's a weird reaction to something he hated so much. He despised the 20+ pills he took every day and often said it felt like they were poisoning him. But they, like the blood pressure cuff, were a part of our life together. I kept them to remind myself that it had all been real.
For a moment tonight, I considered throwing the pills away. They are expired after all and I certainly don't need them. The bin they're stored in could be put to much better use taming the clutter in our home instead of holding tokens from the past.
But as soon as I thought of it, I changed my mind. No, I don't need the pills, but they are part of our story- a part that seems to fade with time. Their presence in our home is a reminder that Greg really lived. We had a full life with him, though not the life it could've been. Ours was a life full of medications, medical procedures and medical trauma - life of stress and worry and so many near death experiences.
Though it hurts to remember, I don't want to forget. Greg was here, we had a life together, and that life matters. So for now, the bin full of remnants of the past stays.