Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Just as he left it...

You've all seen those heart-wrenching movies and TV shows where a child has died. The parent takes the detective/reporter/old friend up to the bedroom and says "it's just as he/she left it". The room is usually tastefully decorate, immaculately tidy and clean.

They obviously didn't have a son like Samuel.

Samuel was...well....a pig. Actually, that's a little harsh, he had become a little more tidy as the years went on, but...no, he was a pig. I think I will establish this fact beyond a shadow of a doubt in the course of this text.
Nature or Nurture?
It's probably not his fault. I'm a pig too. And so is Anthony. (I guess Oliver is probably doomed too!) Those of you who have visited us will know that all too well. I'm just not good at housework! I'm a little bit lazy, a little bit too easily distracted, but mostly, I can just think of better things to do with my time! I figure that people come to see me, not my house. That said, there are times when I get sick of it all and clean up. After all, we do have to be hygienic, don't we?

But a pig? Really?

Ok, I know it's harsh, and they say that you shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but I am a firm believer in honesty, and I don't think it's healthy to hide Samuel's less awesome points just because he's no longer with us.
Let me give you the most disgusting example. One day, a couple of years ago, I got sick of the mess in Sam's room and went in there to help him clean up. I dusted and sorted and wiped, and it was actually quite fun in there; listening to music, chatting, making things clean (I do actually like that sometimes). Then I looked behind a desk and found a small plastic bin half filled with some type of liquid. When I asked Samuel what it was, he told me it was VOMIT! Eeeeerghhhh!
Needless to say, I felt like doing some of that myself! On top of that, he told me it was several weeks old.

Not long after that his Nanna started coming around and helping him clean up each Monday afternoon. I wonder if the two events are connected??

But what's this got to do with anything?
After a few months of Nanna's regular help, Sam was getting a little better at cleaning, and keeping it clean. But in the last year or so she had stopped coming. It was still generally tidy, but had more of a sheen of dust and mess than usual.
So when he died, Sam's room was neither immaculate or especially clean. We left it for a while, not wanting to face the memories/feelings that came up while in there. About two weeks after he died, we had to clean out a bedside drawer that was full of lollies and ants, but apart from that, we left it.

But there does come a time
Today Anthony and I decided to sort out Samuel's room. I wanted to create a place where we could sit and think about Sam, and remember him. But I didn't like doing that in his room as it was: dusty, untidy and with rubbish overflowing in the bin.
We didn't throw anything away, or really move too much of it. But we thoroughly dusted and vacuumed, and put everything in a place that it could be seen easily. It's much nicer now, welcoming. It's a really nice spot to sit in. Now it does look like the rooms in the movies.
Everything I'd read said not to make any big decisions until at least a year after someone close has died. So we're going to leave it like that for a while, and in a year or so we'll decide what else to do.

Sam's room today (whoops - forgot to take the 'before' photo - you probably didn't want to see it anyway).


  1. I have a before picture in my head. It looks lovely now Mel. Somewhere peaceful to sit and remember. Meg

  2. I just remmber seeing all the stickers on his door and thinking I did that to my bedroom door and my dad cursed letting me do that when i moved out and he scrubbed them all off!! The room is lovely, esp now like you said, you can sit there and remember and reflect, without ants and any other creepy crawlies!



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