Tomorrow is the 4 month mark. I have begun very slowly the task of tidying up. My thought is to begin with the symbolic rather than the intimate. I also decided to include my own stuff in the mix so it is a joint venture - much the way we lived. It seems like this process should be fair . If Tom's stuff is getting sorted then so should mine. Whiddling life down to the useful, the loved and the present. The over worked word "down sizing" comes to mind- one that I don't particularly like because it subsumes needless accumulation of stuff rather than the idea that life has different phases and with it different tools.
I am beginning with business suits - mine and his and academic regalia. So what do you do with PhD. academic robes? Tom's is much nicer than mine as his degree is from Cornell so his robe is a fabulous red. Mine is blue and black with an orange cowl as it is from Syracuse. I wore mine all the time over the last years parading around at graduations, convocations and of course at Halloween when dressed as a wizard handing out candy and questions on our front porch in NC. The robes are pretty great actually from a costume standpoint but they are also serious. It takes work to get one of these things. They have roots in the rituals of the middle ages . They are mysterious and conjure up drafty halls, stones and well Harry Potter. They also represent solid accomplishments in our lives . Respect for that is important but the fact remains they are probably not all that useful. The act of sorting is also an act of remembering and that in and of itself is a good, if not painful process. Oddly enough the business attire is an easy fix. Who really cares about that stuff but the academic robes are another story. It remains to be seen what to do with them. It is a start that is all .