When will I ever be ready to…
…Unpack your bag that came home with us after you passed away at the hospital.? It’s sitting in my bedroom with your clothes and things that you used. It’s just like we used to keep it packed for those emergency trips to Riley when you would spike a fever. I just can’t bring myself to move it and put the things inside “away.”
…Dump the trash that’s in the trash can in your room? I mean, there’s dirty Kleenexes in there and crumpled up post it notes, etc….Things that contain your DNA. I just can’t get rid of it.
…Remove your clothes from yours and Libby’s closet? They’re still there. I mean, she could use the space. She doesn’t seem to mind sharing with you still. Sometimes we borrow things for the day, just like we would if you were here. It helps us feel your presence wrapped around us a bit I guess.
…Throw away your popsicles and sherbet that’s in the freezer? I mean it’s just taking up space, but they’re yours. I’m sure they’re freezer burnt by now. I still look at them every time I get in there. It’s so strange not needing to buy your favorite snacks. I’m so thankful that you enjoyed eating up until the very end.
…Unpack your school backpack? We even kept it packed when you were going through treatment. Everything you’d need if you were just a normal sophomore in high school is in there. Your planner, your notebooks, your favorite pencils. You were such a good student. You became such a planner.
…Throw out your make-up, hair-brush, deodorant, etc?…All of it touched you and you chose. You were so particular about your beauty products. Never wanting to over-do it. You were just a natural beauty. Again, more of your DNA. How can I toss it?
… To stop looking at your phone every night? I’m so thankful to have your pictures, videos, even thoughts about things right there in my hand, but I wonder sometimes, does it increase my sadness when I go there? Sometimes I just need to hear you say “I love you Mom.” So, I watch and I listen, sometimes with my eyes closed and the tears just begin to flow.
Sometimes it feels like you left us just yesterday. Sometimes it feels like it’s been an eternity all ready. Every day we finish here is another day closer to being with you.
Do I keep these traces of you because I can’t accept that you’re gone and not coming back? Do I keep them because it would hurt too much to just throw away what’s left of these pieces of your life? Am I holding myself back from healing by holding on to these things? I don’t know.