Monday, August 2, 2010

Ready to clean....

This is not about dusting and cleaning on a normal basis. I don't dust regularly anyway, but it was beyond time to clean up some thigns that had collected in the crib. I'd call it Chase's crib but it is really our crib. All the kids have slept in there and any subsequent children will sleep in there. But for the last year and a half, it has been filled with memories of Chase. From the first week we had gotten home from the hospital until now, I have collected cards, small gifts, photos, letters, sculptures, clothes and anything that reminded me of our little boy. I had been feeling for the past couple months that I was about ready to box up these things. I still want them available to me to look at whenever I want, but I wanted to get a pretty little (medium-sized, actually) box to collect it all in. And the crib was getting pretty dusty anyway--it was time to do something.

So I ordered a pretty box and assembled it and started storing his things. Though it seemed a pretty unemotional task at first, the wave came over me, as I figured it would. In some ways it was comforting to see go through these memories--in a way it's hard to describe. But then the sadness....the deep sadness....came. And the tears.... Those things that will always be there. Not far from the surface. I had saved things like the hospital bracelets which I have in a shadow box. But I forgot about my hospital bracelet. The sight of that brought back a bunch of memories. I had even put back some of the clothes that we had on the day we held him and he died. Those are things that I don't see as "normal" and when I would see them come through the laundry, I'd think about our last day with Chase so I finally pulled them an put them in his crib. I have stuffed animals and wonderful, wonderful cards from my family that have words in them I cherish very deeply. Words that bring tears, but words that mean so much to me that it is hard to explain in a human capacity. I have little airplanes and nerf bullets that Reese gave to his brother that I put in this box. I have Reese's little santa hat that Chase was going to wear last Christmas. I have Chase's first birthday cards and memories and my mother's day cards from Patric and the kids the month after he died. I probably have hundreds of photos in there, several duplicates, but of course none of them I could throw away, so they are all there. And then all the legal documents from the funeral home are in another matching box, just smaller. The baby book from the funeral home with all the signatures of those who attended the funeral, which still surprises me to read through sometimes. I have my blog book in there, too, which is sacred to me. It is what helped me most through this loss....writing down my feelings and the comments from those who cared enough to tell me I wasn't alone on this journey.

I still have plenty photos, some candles, statues and things on the wall to blanket I sleep with every night... And we talk and pray about Chase every day. But for now, the crib is empty. We hope to fill it again some day. Maybe we will move first and I won't put the crib back up until we need it. Maybe it will sit here until I am ready to take it down. Maybe....

My memories are in my heart. They are in my head and in my soul. And if I need something tangible, I can go to the boxes and touch him. I know I have a lot of "stuff" but I couldn't get rid of any of it. It's as close as I want it to be. Without having him's as close as I want for now.

I am curious, for those that are a year or more out from their loss, what have you done with your memories? I would love to hear your stories.


  1. I kept almost everything. And it's everywhere. For a long time Connor's toys were hidden away because I didn't want anyone to have them but now they are out for Nikola and anyone else to play with except a few things I kept put away. I also have all his clothes. Nikola has gotten to wear most of them but some I put aside because I don't want to share them. His pictures are everywhere. Different stuffed animals in different places. Some are for the kids to play with and some are out of reach. I used all Connor's baby gear for Nik and refuse to get rid of any of it. It's stored in my guest closet since Nik it now too big for most of it. Most of Connor's stuff is right out there for me to see all the the toys Nik plays with and the clothes he wears. But I have some that I keep out of reach and slightly out of sight so I can hold them and look at them when I feel like it and I don't have to worry about them getting messed up by the little one. Plus I have a box full of baby shower cards and his first birthday cards. I have the funeral book in the drawer with my photo albums. I have a baby book I had started for him and a scrap book that I need to finish.

    I am the type to surround myself with Connor's things and pictures to feel comfortable. I would be devistated if those things were all put away and I couldn't easily share them. But some are put away for when I need to feel extra close to him. Some things hold a stronger memory than others and can only be viewed once in a while.

    Much love to you as you put some things away for viewing when you feel like and keeping the rest out to see all the time. *hugs*

  2. We are closing in on 4 years here. It sometimes feels as raw as it happened yesterday, and sometimes it feels so distant, it must have been another lifetime.
    Anyway, we bought a lovely black toybox to keep Sophie's things in. It looks like a simple chest, and I have everything that I wanted to keep tucked away inside. I have her "wings" hanging on the corner of a print I have framed above her box. I had some of her things out, her foot mold, her ashes, and a few other keepsakes, but they are packed inside the box for now because we have a little guy who won't stay out of anything. I don't have any pictures out because we only have 5 of her, and my husband has a very hard time facing the pictures, so we take baby steps. I hope to have at least the pencil drawing of her hanging on the wall soon.

    It was 8 months after she died that I went through her things and sorted out what I wanted to keep and what I would sell in a yardsale or give away. Just weeks after she died, I returned all of the clothes I had bought for her that still had tags on it to the stores they came from. Then I went into said stores a few days after that just to touch the clothes that had hung in her closet, waiting for her to come home. :/

  3. As far as pictures, I made 2 scrapbooks and 1 photobook. All the keepsakes are in a memory chest made by my aunt and uncle. It needs a little organizing but I'm waiting until I can create a little space for her. My belly cast is still unfinished by hopefully by her next birthday it will be done and can be hung up. All of her stuff was strung across Kyndra's bedroom floor for some time. Bit by bit I worked on putting it away.

  4. We have a nice box that somone made us for all of the cards but I would love to get a chest to put everything in. For's in the closet of the spare room (his room). I don't go in there. It just makes me sad to look at all of the stuff. It just makes me miss him even more.