This is a difficult one to overcome.
The objects in question are things that either Alex and I collected together or things that Alex gave me.
The objects which we collected together – by and large – I’m OK with now. I can look at them and enjoy them for their beauty without feeling the heart wrenching pain I felt when he first went. I have pictures painted by him which I love for their beauty and artistic merit. They hang on my walls and I love looking at them.
The lovely wooden Knysna Lourie bird sits on my mantelpiece and gives me pleasure. I remember when we ran through a wood in South Africa following a call and finally seeing this wonderful exotic bird so brilliantly camouflaged, high in the branches, flitting about. It was my birthday. To celebrate this ‘victory of observation’ Alex bought me a wooden model as a birthday present.
Other things adorn various shelves. A great deal more are currently hiding in store until I have a proper place of my own again.
It’s the more personal items I’ve had massive problems with. In particular a beautiful wooden and ostrich egg beaded bracelet which he bought me deep in the Kalahari at a Bushman village in Northern Namibia. We had travelled over 200k off a main road, to reach the village bumping our way along an interminable dirt road. It took hours. We arrived at a small outpost and basic campsite where we set up our tent. Then travelled down a small, hardly-used track to look at a massive baobab tree we’d heard about.
A young bushman lad approached us (he seemed to appear from nowhere) and – in surprisingly good English – invited us to his village. We took biscuits and oranges as presents (all we had) and had a lovely afternoon meeting the villagers, none of whom spoke any English. I just love listening to their incredible ‘click’ language. So many nuances in the different clicks and sounds.
An old lady offered us several bracelets she’d made and we chose one and paid her for it (cash!). I love this bracelet for its workmanship, its beauty, its feel and – of course – the memories of the occasion when we got it. And it’s that which has been the problem! I’ve not been able to wear it since Alex left.
But a few days ago I decided I had to stop being imprisoned by the objects that mean so much to me. I couldn’t go on looking at all these things and feeling scared to wear them. So I’ve been wearing my special bracelet virtually every day for a week now and I’m overcoming the mental block I have. I’m unlocking the prison door if you like!
All these things have to happen and ‘be dealt with’ as part of the healing process.
Some are harder than others. Overcoming the hard ones has its own rewards. The successes may be small but they matter!