Almost two years after losing Karissa, I am now starting the painful process of going through her stuff. It's a process, I guess. I am not sure if I am doing it because it just has to be done or because I am just ready. I have to wonder, if I wasn't pregnant, would I still be trying to tackle the emotional and heart-wrenching task? A task that floods the mind with so many memories, some that you want to hold on to for dear life and others that you would rather just forget.
I have had a few friends offer to come over and help me. While I truly appreciate them and am so thankful for friends that would be so willing go through this with me, I honestly would much rather face it alone. Maybe it is my introverted nature. Or the fact that I really don't show my emotional side to anyone except for Mark.
Karissa had two closets, one which had all of her clothes and shoes and the other which I refer to as "the toy chest." Over the past two years (well almost), I have stuffed things in both closets to the point that you could barely open the doors without everything crashing down.
Last Saturday, I started with the toy chest closet. I figured that would be the easier of the two. The first things I started sorting through were all her cups, plates, bowls and utensils. I started putting them in a storage container for later use with the twins. All of her cups still smelled of the liquids I use to put in them. A few even had her name on them, so that they wouldn't get mixed up with the other kids things at church or school. Not soon after did I find myself in tears. I went downstairs and said to Mark "I just can't do this." But, as hard as it was, I continued on with the task.
I am trying to figure out what to do with a lot of her things. It is unbearably heart-breaking to think of throwing anything away. Every item has some memory linked to it, some good, some bad. For instance, I was thinking about throwing away her bath toys. They are gross, especially the squirt ones that harbor so much bacteria...yuck!! But, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Some of her bath toys were put away in large ziploc bags the day she died by a close friend. When I went to grab one of the bags, I noticed a lot of strands of her hair along along with the toys. I couldn't imagine tossing that bag. I feel like I would be throwing away the memories of a daily routine, bath time, that Karissa loved so much.
Or, I came across a few bottles of her anti-seizures medicines. I still haven't thrown them away. Why I want to keep them is beyond me. Karissa's seizures were horrific and heart-breaking to watch, especially as she got older. Why do I want to hold on to a memory of the very thing that took her life?
Going through this process and losing a child has made me realize that people are so different in how they process their grief. One thing that I find interesting is that a lot of people would say this process is 'cleansing.' I have heard it said many time before after one has suffered a tragic loss. "It must have been so cleansing to let go" or whatever which is fine. While many people process their grief quite differently than others, this was in no way cleansing. I said to Mark later that day, "I don't know why the H*** people sometimes refer to this as cleansing, this was in no way cleansing to me!!" Anyways, just my thoughts.
5 years ago