There are times in this journey, when my grief pops up out of nowhere. Sometimes I nod my head to acknowledge it. Sometimes I run past it to something else to occupy my mind and body. Sometimes I am paralyzed by it, unable to focus on anything other than what death has taken from me.
Last night, my grief found me sitting alone on the living room floor with a bunch of bags of what I thought were hand-me-downs from two of my cousins’ sons, along with clothes Benji has already outgrown. See, we just moved. Again. And since Blake did all of the actual moving, I figured I would unpack while he was out of town. The clothes seemed like an easy enough place to start.
My task started well. I found a bunch of clothes that Benji will soon fit into. Score! Hand-me-downs found is money saved. I found a few of Silas’ plain white bodysuits, and wasn’t really too bothered. I didn’t feel any special connection to them. Then I dug deeper. I found the “Daddy’s Little Guy” sleeper and the cute car bodysuit we got for Silas to wear to church that summer. As I continued to dig deeper, the pain also dug deeper.
I had to stop. I couldn’t look at the clothes anymore. I’ve gone through them a hundred times and each time I see them, I hurt as much as the time before. Benji has been able to wear some of the clothes. Seeing Benji in them has helped to lessen the pain those outfits bring me. Sometimes it’s hard to see him in his older brother’s things and sometimes it’s a balm for my ever-open wound. The hardest thing, though, are the clothes that neither of them will wear.
Blake wasn’t home to listen and hug. Benji was already asleep. I thought about calling Blake, but wasn’t sure about his meeting schedule. I thought about waking Benji up, but I wasn’t sure holding a really grouchy baby close would be a ton of help. So I went online. I posted something on Facebook. And, as I sat petting the little dog we got for Silas, my healing came in posts of encourage and messages of love from people who know this will never be over.