Today was by far one of hardest days I’ve faced in the past five months. It’s also probably one of the largest projects I’ve tackled since we moved into this townhouse last June. Most of all, it’s the biggest step I’ve taken so far towards the future.
I went through all of Emily’s clothes and took them out of the bedroom.
I’ll be honest: I’m not exactly sure I was ready to do it. However, I know that sleeping on the couch isn’t helping my health, and I couldn’t go into the bedroom with it looking exactly the way it did on October 17. So, the only solution was to bite the bullet and do what I needed to do in order to start sleeping in the bedroom again.
It took over four hours of work between three people and filled about a dozen boxes, but I can now say that Emily’s clothes are out of the bedroom and resting in the garage (for now). And, even though I mostly already knew this, today definitely made me realize that Emily really had a lot of fucking clothes.
Emily Enjoyed Clothing
Although it took Emily several months to really start opening up to me, I learned a lot about her by observing her every week in group therapy. One of the things I learned just from watching her walk in every week was that she really put a lot of effort into the outfits she wore.
As Emily and I grew closer, I learned that she really enjoyed clothing. She liked shopping for clothes (especially if she could snag a deal at a thrift store), she liked planning outfits and coordinating accessories, and she even liked shopping for clothing for other people (like me).
I never really counted her clothes. However, I do remember that I noticed she could go several weeks without doing laundry, which always shocked me. However, once I realized just how many clothes she had, I can’t really say I’m surprised by this.
She never turned down the opportunity to get new clothes, and she very rarely got rid of anything. Needless to say, this created quite the collection over time. And, I think that really made her happy.
She Always Looked Cute
I know that Emily liked clothing, but I don’t think that statement in and of itself really gives a full perspective into Emily’s appearance. I know plenty of people who like clothes, yet often wear the same few outfits over and over again. But, honestly, that wasn’t Emily at all.
I feel like Emily definitely had her own style. But, somehow, everything she did worked. Whether she was going to work, out on a date, or sitting around at home, she always looked cute. She just had this way of putting outfits together that I’ll never understand, and everything looked coordinated and intentional.
On our first date, she wore this cute graphic tee with a body positive, health at every size message on it, and she paired it with an adorable denim shirt and cute chunky heels. Her hair and makeup looked perfect… She looked perfect. I couldn’t help but smile and feel my heart race a bit as I saw her walk out of the building and walk towards me when I picked her up from work that day. She looked amazing.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed how cute Emily always looked. Many other people, like friends and family members, often commented on Emily’s adorable, well-coordinated outfits. And, anytime someone said something to me, I would always say, “That’s Emily! She’s always looking cute!”
So Many Clothes
I knew today would be difficult. However, I don’t think I realized just how attached I’d be to another person’s clothes until we started going through them. It seemed like every time I reached for an item, my brain would instantly recall a memory of our lives together from that single piece of clothing.
I found the shirt she had picked out specifically for a Monday date night, but then that date turned into us eating Burger King together outside Centennial’s emergency room because Emily had to drive a friend to their ER. I remembered telling her so many times that night how great that shirt looked on her, and her telling me she’d specifically planned the outfit because she thought I’d like it.
I found clothing we’d bought during our travels. I discovered all the shorts we’d gotten for her at the beginning of the summer in 2021 because she needed new ones for her recovered body. I found the shirt she’d worn to the Lizzo concert we went to in 2019. I uncovered a “fake” leather skirt she’d gotten to wear to Lipstick Lounge (and did wear). So many clothes, and so many memories.
And yet, there were also several items I unearthed that I’d never seen before in my life. It made me laugh, because I’d known the woman for over 5 years and lived with her for the past 18 months. Yet, here were things I’d not only never seen her wear, but never remembered even seeing her buy.
By the end of the day, we filled 10 boxes, and that doesn’t even count the things I decided to keep or anything we may have missed.
The Closet Looks Empty Now
Unlike Emily, I’m a lot less of a clothing collector. Yet, when I stood and looked at the closet at the end of the afternoon today, I could not believe how empty it looked.
Because Emily had become such a major part of my life, I’d grown accustomed to all of her clothes. But now that she’s gone, I am beginning to notice the size of the hole her absence leaves in my heart is bigger than I ever imagined it could be.
I know that moving on is going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. And, although one of those steps was accomplished today, I don’t know that facing tomorrow is going to be any easier. Every day without Emily and her adorable outfits is another day I continue to live without my best friend and the love of my life. And that will never be “easy.”
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