I recently watched the relatively new Netflix show Dead to Me which explores the multi faceted layers of grieving and death. I’m not going to spoil anything but there is one scene that struck me to the core.
The protagonist played by Christina Applegate loses her husband in a freak accident, and he was a musician with a separate studio from the house in the back yard. After attending a grieving support group. she becomes friends with one of the members of the group who doesn’t have a decent place to stay so she offers her to temporailty live in the studio till she gets back on her feet. So this woman walks into the room and sees that nothing has been touched since the death of the husband.
Now, this is deep but I’m going to go there. My father died three years ago. He had a man cave separate from the house in the back yard with his prized possessions and till this day, it has not been touched. I didn’t realize the ramifications of denial with handling death till I realized that there are people out there that struggle with the same situation. When someone dies what do you do with their things? What do you do with the room that they once inhabited with their relics or, just their presence somehow in the air among all their things, or found memories you have of the good times spent hanging out and listening to music while shooting the breeze.
For me, I have not stepped in the man cave cause I’m not prepared for the emotions that will inevitable flush through my veins but, I can’t just let it sit there untouched and lock it up like it doesn’t exist. But, even now after watching that scene it doesn’t make me want to jump on my Vespa and roll into Westwood to take in that room. The Men’s Room was a place of fun times. It has memories of my father that I don’t really want to see or touch but, I can’t just keep pretending it’s not there all remained in place. It’s weird.
I tell people when it comes to grieving everyone has their own journey, however, their are similarities to grasp onto and find commoderity with to better understand what you are going through but, I don’t want to go there. Should I go there? I have no idea what’s going to enter my mind heart and soul if I walked into that room so, it’s confusing not knowing what is the healthiest way to manage or approach that situation.
I guess there will be a time when I’ll have to face the Men’s Room. Maybe it’s ok that that time is not now, however, there is a lot to say about your mental state when dealing with the grieving process when you flat out ignore the facts. My Dad is gone, and that room can’t stay in tack locked away forever.