Kimberly called today to tell me that Lisa, a member of our extended family through Aunt Jean, had picked up the last of Dad's unclaimed furniture, and was exceedingly grateful for the gift. I know that Dad would be pleased; he always wanted to help others, and he would give away almost anything he owned if someone else was in need. The furniture was still in good shape, and I'm much happier knowing that it's going to someone in the family rather than being dispensed to a stranger. (Of course, either way would still put it to good use... but there's something about "helping your own" that seems more satisfying.)
On some levels, it felt odd to parcel out Dad's life in this way--and I know that Kim felt the same way, because she and I discussed it earlier this week. Even though I know that it would be pointless to preserve every belonging like some sort of a museum, there's some part of me that feels that each of these items were close to Dad, and that somehow they afford an iconic link to him. Keeping the belongings won't bring Dad back, though, and there's nothing here that any of us need.
I feel good that it's done. I also feel very sad because it underscores the irrevocability of Dad's passing; he can never come back, and we can never go back to the life that he lived. But there's a sense of finality in that that I think I needed on some level.
The sad hours are diminishing with each passing week; I still miss Dad more than I can convey in words, but I'm finding a balance, at least.
'Tis held that sorrow makes us wise;
Yet how much wisdom sleeps with thee
Which not alone had guided me,
But served the seasons that may rise
--Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "In Memoriam, AHH"