Saturday, July 29, 2017

A single strand of hair

It has been several months since Jennifer passed away. Many people have asked how we are are holding up. It's an honest question, one that I have a hard time answering. You see it honestly depends on the day or even the moment. Sometimes it seems like an eternity since I have heard her laugh or gotten to kiss her good night. I am afraid I will forget the sound of her voice. Other times it seems like she is just down the hall and I can imagine her in there texting her friends and doing a puzzle. There are days that I laugh and have a great time with my boys or friends but then I feel horribly guilty for not being sad. I know I shouldn't feel this way and no matter what anyone says it won't change the way I feel. I can hear people with good intentions telling me that Jennifer wouldn't want me to be sad and she is no longer in pain. The truth is I think she would want me to be sad a little because she would know that I miss her and love her incredibly. I also know she is better off and I will see her again, but right now it still hurts and I want to be selfish and have her here with me. 

I do have some really good days. I also have some days that make me feel shattered all over again. One of those days happened a couple of weeks ago. I decided on a whim to wear one of Jennifer's bright pink over shirts. I can't even tell you why or why it was even out. I didn't go into her closest to find it. Anyway, I put it on and went out and about wearing it proudly, I went to church that night and was singing when I looked down and saw a single strand of long blond hair wrapped loosely around a big pink button. I knew immediately that it was Jennifer's and started crying. It was tangible, it was her, she wasn't here but her hair still was. It wasn't fair, it was painful, it felt wrong. I didn't want to let go of that beautiful single strand. I gently laid it back on the sweater and wound it around the button. I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it. It was a part of her, a part that grew with her, something with DNA. I wanted to keep it forever.

Today we tried to go through her closet. We didn't last long and didn't do everything. I know why people keep so much when a loved one dies. She had so much chapstick and lip gloss ( another obsession she had) I didn't want to throw any of it out. My baby had used it, her lips had touched it. It honestly hurt to throw it away, and yet keeping it doesn't make sense. No one wants used chapstick. The clothes smelled like her and I didn't want to let them go. Almost every item held a memory. We would remember her favorites and all the pink clothes. Several were set aside, probably more than should have been. We stopped there, we didn't go through her baby dolls, puzzles, coloring books or anything else. The clothes did us in, I know there are strands of hair all over them. I look at her hairbrush and I don't want to clean it out. I don't want to go through her make up or babies. I honestly don't know when I will be ready. I don't think time will make this part easier. It will always be painful but it also holds beautiful memories: Her sweet 16 dress, her prom dress, her favorite hoody, her "I Love Lucy" t-shirt, all hold wonderful memories. 

Honestly we are doing better most of the time but when those little or not so little moments come they hurt. I am getting used to them and learning to let them come. God is my comforter and grief is very real. We live in a broken, sinful world and I am not exempt from the pain. This is not my home and I long to see my beautiful Sweetcheeks again. Until then I praise my Lord and show others to also. This life is painful and sometimes sucks, God knows that and that is why I long for a day when all my suffering is over. Thank God, He is my Comforter! 


Maggie Capriola said...

Goldie you are doing exactly what you need. I agree with you when you said she would want you to be a little sad. That seems like a Jennifer thing. Love you my friend.

Sonya Kelii said...

My chest became heavy reading your words, imagining seeing Jennifer's hair on her shirt. Your said you don't know why that shirt was out... Maybe it was her. Loss if tough. It's difficult and we hold onto things that bring us memories, some type of comfort. When my mother-in-law passed away my daughter was given her sweater that she used on a daily basis. My daughter slept with it and called the sweater 'Grandma'. One day she came home from school, went to her room and said, "Hi Grandma." As she hugged the sweater she began crying. She looked up at me, holding the sweater, and said, "It doesn't smell like Grandma anymore." My heart broke. I explained to her that scents fade over time and that although she can't smell Grandma anymore, she's always with us on our hearts. 5 years have passed and the sweater still hasn't been washed. It's still called Grandma and when we left Hawaii the sweater came on the plane with us to ensure it wasn't lost or damaged. I don't know why I shared that with you. Maybe because I understand how things that seem insignificant to others have meaning to us. Yes, it's a stand of hair, but the hair came from her. Whenever I came across Jennifer's work, or her pencil sharpener, I held it to my chest, closed my teary eyes, and smiled before sending it to you. I love you, Goldie.