It was time to do some housecleaning today and that meant getting rid of paper (it could have meant getting rid of dog hair or decluttering, but today it was paper). First I looked it in my file drawer which is next to this computer. There was a Penda-flex folder full of past issues of the TAPS magazine, dating from a couple of months after Thomas died I expect: I had not been able to bring myself to recycle them as they came. Anything that came because he had died I sort of considered sacred, whether it made sense or not. But in a fit of rationality and clear-sightedness this morning, I pulled out all but the last one and put them gently into the recycling bin. TAPS has helped me through this, but mostly by the human contacts that I know I can make or have actually made. The magazine has been a reminder that they are there and that I can call on them when and if I need them. Now, however, I have a number of online ways to reach them and I think the sheer bulk of the paper mandates that I get a grip (or release my grip, this metaphor is not working well!).
And then there was the filing system. I file bills and statements by month in the fond hope that I'll weed out the stuff I don't need in a year or so. You can see where this went. I started this system in about 2000 I think--you can't see the bottom of the milk crate to find out--and I think I've sorted about six months of it. Up to today, when I pulled up the crate and a cardboard box I'll take to a paper shredder one of these days. Today, I sorted through 2006, and then 2005. I can see 2004 under there, but as I got to early 2005 and looked at a cell phone bill that still had Thomas's number on it, I thought this was more than I wanted to bear today. It was as if I was closing in on the date of our tragedy. How will I ever go through December of 2004 without reliving the desolation I felt for all of that early winter?