I’m in the process of deconstructing two lives. This week I am packing up an office that contains almost 12 years of my life. Over the next weeks and months (and let’s hope it doesn’t go into a year), I will be packing up and making decisions about my mother’s belongings and the childhood home where I grew up.
Today, my coworker and friend had the other counselor who is leaving, and I create an art therapy project of flower petals. We were asked to create one flower which listed what we were taking from our time of working at hospice and on the other we were to write what we were leaving at hospice. It was a great project and I will post pictures later. However, the questions were not easy to answer.
I’ve been sitting in my nice little corner office and making the decision regarding files and binders. It’s amazing the information that one can collect over the years. It’s been wonderful to be reminded of the work that I have done over the years – the memorial services and events that I chaired, the support groups that I created and facilitated, the articles I have written. But what do I take with me and what do I leave for the other counselors who will be there?
When I accepted this position, I came into an office where the counselor before me had taken everything. There were no files, nothing to follow, no guidelines regarding what had been done in the past. Fortunately, I had great co-workers who let me raid their files but I also created along the way.
My office has been my home away from home. I’ve had a nice office that I decorated the way I wanted to and had plenty of space for files and resources. Now I am faced with the decision of what I do with this part of me. It’s therapeutic to go through and empty drawers. It’s been easy to make decisions about many of the items: the articles are outdated and old, a bad copy and I don’t have the original. I am finding that there are things I can’t make decisions about and thus, I will likely take them with me. I may never open the box that I put them in but at least I will have it.
It’s much easier to make the ending of this chapter in my life about the tangible items. What I am really taking with me can’t be placed into a box. My grief can’t allow me to process this ending the way that I would like but I continue to know this is the path I should be taking. I have been blessed to meet and work with clients who shared their darkest days with me and I’ve worked along side wonderful women who became my work sisters and friends. Those are things that can’t be placed into a box.
My last day at work is in three days. Three days to make decisions about what I need to leave and what I am taking with me