In the minutes/hours/days after Maci’s death, I went on a grief-fueled shopping binge. Anything remotely spiritual, cat-related, grief-related, or (better yet) cat-grief–and-spirituality-related brought out an urge to spend, spend, spend. Over the course of two days, I’d spent several hundred dollars on things I wouldn’t likely never have bought otherwise, including making a number of small, spur-of-the-moment donations. The only thing that really stopped me from spending more is a lack of money.
I’d done something similar when my mother died, buying things that I’d hoped might help me to come to grips with the emotions I was feeling…I still haven’t finished reading most of the books I ordered during that period. (Hell, I haven’t even *started* reading most of them.)
Most of the things I ordered this time around won’t arrive for several weeks, but I’m already over the initial rush of gut-wrenching emotion that prompted their purchases. It’s the ultimate in binge buying. The act of shopping filled the aching void in my heart, made me feel like I was actually doing something at a time when I was feeling particularly helpless. (In the weeks before this, I’d been on a smaller buying spree, ordering things that might help me get Maci to eat more. Those items are now arriving in my mailbox and I’m finding myself now trying to figure out where I can donate them.)
The whole situation has me thinking about the issue of hoarding in general. Hoarding is the current topic du jour on TV, the new train wreck for all of us voyeurs. And most people cannot comprehend how a person gets to that point in their lives. I can. While I’m not (quite) at a point where I would be featured on one of those shows, I do live in constant clutter. Before this, the clutter made me kind of depressed. Now, it’s comforting in the sense that it muffles the emptiness that is Maci’s physical absence. It, like the binge shopping, fills the gaping hole in your heart. Of course, it’s a stop-gap measure that causes its own problems in turn that can be even worse than the grief, but at the time you’re not thinking about the future, just about stopping the pain or anxiety.
It’s done what I needed it to do, but I think it’s time to release the clutter, release the bubble I’ve wrapped around myself over the last few decades.
I have much to do, and time’s a wasting.
2 thoughts on “Filling the hole”
I found your blog after googling “midlife crisis women forty-one.” I’m so sorry for your loss of Maci. I’m also a cat lover. I have five pet cats and care for a feral cat colony. I also get the hoarding thing. Well, clutter. I dunno. I’m not anything like those folks on TV, but I’m also no stranger to the temporary “feel better” that new stuff brings. I’m also trying to get myself into freelance writing. I have some helpful history (English major, published poet, etc.), but my motivation kinda sucks right now. I’ve been stuck in a funk for a few years now. Anyway, I’m glad i found your blog and look forward to your future posts! Take care of yourself. 🙂
Thanks so much for dropping by, Karen. I know where you’re coming from — hard to break out of a funk, isn’t it. I was rereading some journal entries from a couple of years ago last night and I could have written them right now. Here’s hoping we figure out the way out. 🙂