It’s funny the unexpected situations that can bring back memories of Ben. Here I sit in my bedroom, surrounded by clothes as I figure out what to take on holiday. As I’ve hunted to the back of the drawers and wardrobe and tried on my old beach holiday clothes, I’ve realised that a lot of these things haven’t seen the light of day since our honeymoon in Bali in 2008. There’s the surfer girl top that we bought there, that Ben loved so much that when the colours ran in the wash he secretly hunted for hours on the net to find me another, the shorts that I bartered over (i.e. got bullied into buying by a formidable Balinese saleswoman), and the slinky, sequin top that I used to save for our dates. Putting on these clothes after all these years feels like putting on an old self – more naive, younger, slimmer!
It’s sad, but comforting. I said in a post back in May that I’ve struggled to really feel memories from before last year. When I’ve thought of our happy times – our honeymoon, our wedding, first moving in together, holidays – the memories are there but the emotions aren’t. It’s like the emotional equivalent of a blurred or faded photograph – I’ve been numb to those memories. The memories that I can feel are mostly the many grim ones from last year.
Except in this quiet little moment of looking through old clothes, which has brought back happy memories, and lovely, very welcome feelings, along with them.