STEP 1: REMOVE ALL REMINDERS FROM YOUR HOME
Quickly, take down those pictures from where you stuck them in the top corner of your mirror, the ones you glance at as you snap your bra closed first thing in the morning. Your faces, pushed together in the way you’d only stand beside someone with whom you’ve developed a legitimate closeness, will remind you too powerfully of a hope you cannot allow yourself to harbor anymore. And the pictures that were carefully placed inside of ornately jeweled frames, the ones you’d trimmed unevenly because you’ve still not mastered the art of the cutting with scissors? Those need to be yanked free and must no longer decorate your coffee table or that black thing you bought that West Elm calls a “console.” It’s okay that, to this day, there are still three empty frames that sit in one of your desk drawers, a glaring reminder that once images glowed happily from beneath some glass but now there’s just some emptiness. But remember: it’s not just photographs that will stir up longings or cause you to feel nothing but fragile in that way that you hate. No, there’s other shit cluttering up your home, stuff that’s barricading up your mind with useless remnants from the past. These tangible items will corrode your heart bit by bit in a way that will feel like the sting of acid must as it runs through your veins. The stuffed animal he won at a fair, the one you named? He needs to be carted off to the nearest dumpster immediately. Colorful magnets that live on the front of your refrigerator that were purchased on a happier day than today need to be buried under trash like empty pill bottles and dyed corks of red wine because, if you can’t see them anymore, maybe you can convince yourself they never existed in the first place. And those dried flowers, the ones he gave you on that first night? Well, those need to be destroyed. Besides, daisies aren’t your favorite flower anymore. You like pink peonies now.
STEP 2: WHATEVER YOU DO, REFRAIN FROM LOOKING IN THE MIRROR
The person whose reflection you see glaring back at you is someone you won’t even recognize. There is hollowness in her eyes, a deadness in her smile. Her pallor will have turned a truly unflattering shade of grey and the dimples in her cheeks won’t be nearly as pronounced as they usually are. Those dimples – usually your favorite physical feature – will no longer indent in a manner you think of as charming. No, it will just look like you’ve got two holes pounded into the centers of your cheeks and you’ll notice them immediately on the rare moments you do find yourself settling into a bland grin. Just face the fact that looking at yourself will only give you painful ideas that maybe the reason it didn’t work out is because he was drawn to girls who don’t appear lost and instead behave like an Orthodox Jew might during Shiva: cover the mirror – all of the mirrors – so you have no need to be reminded of the dead.