Was watching a DIY show about organizing/cleaning house, which involves getting rid of things. Saw a woman cry when she sold at a yard sale a piece of furniture that had been her mother's. She admitted it wasn't the furniture, but the memory and feeling like she was letting go of a piece of her mom all over again...
I lost my daddy on April 21, 1999. A few years ago, I watched his pickup pull out of our driveway for the last time, going to my big brother's in Nebraska. As the tears ran down my cheeks, I put my logical brain in gear and said, "It's not my daddy. It's just a THING." And I got through that.
Almost two years ago, while in Yellowstone with my mom and my son, I somehow lost Daddy's 20-year service medallion that I had worn on a chain around my neck since he died. I felt like someone had reached in my chest, squeezed all the blood out of my heart and then ripped it slowly from my body. I have not yet stopped reaching to move the medallion when I'm showering, nor have I stopped reaching for it during the course of normal days. It was just a "thing". My memories of my daddy are many and strong. But there is something about having something solid and physical that is always present and TOUCHable.
I still cry when I think of losing that medallion. It took me a year to even be able to talk about it enough to tell Richard about it. Sometimes a physical "thing" is a great comfort.