It’s been a while since I had my last good cry. In a sense I’ve been avoiding it because the process is overwhelming. It’s hard to sort out the good and bad memories sometimes. Having watched my daughter die makes it more difficult to bring the good memories forward.
I sat down and had a good cry then proceeded to open the box that contains some of her most favorite things. Her American Girl doll that she wanted because it looked so much like her. I remember when we made the train trip from Grand Rapids to Chicago with some other friends to spend the day shopping in Chicago and of course, tea at the American Girl Store. I kept two t-shirts that she liked to wear – one that says “fly girl” and one that she wore in her senior pictures. She was my fly girl.
Then there laid the envelope. The one marked “do not open”. I put some very private things in there and had previously stored them in a safe deposit box. Did not want anyone opening it. The contents sacred to me. In the hours after Brittany died I was helping prepare her body by removing all the tubes and wires and cleaning her up. While straightening her hair I remembered that she said after graduation she wanted to cut her hair – so I took a pair of scissors and took her hair from the pony tail on the top of her head and made a quick cut. Saying out loud “there you go honey – just as I promised”. While looking in that envelope I took out the pony tail that still remained untouched since her death and so very lightly touched it. It brought a flood of tears to my eyes because I so loved that girl.
I placed the hair back into the envelope and reached in to pull out the few pics taken by the Child Life Specialist. They were taken once Brittany was looking so peaceful with her favorite blanket from her room. She looked like an angel. I looked so longingly at her face and the many freckles she had searching hard in my memory for how she looked alive and how she hated her freckles so. Those freckles made her unique. Lastly I placed my hand over her hand, the mold that was taken of her hand after she died. Another memento to be cherished for years to come. Her hand was bigger than mine. She would have laughed at that as if to say “ha mom – I’m already bigger than you”.
You all can’t imagine how my heart breaks again and again every time I open those dear treasures. I go to a place I don’t go often for it is too painful to bear. I want to just throw something and yell and scream because I can’t keep the pain in any longer. In the movie Forest Gump he says “sometimes there are not enough rocks”. In the movie Jenny was so angry at something that had happened in the past – she threw rock after rock until she collapses on the ground. It takes a long time to move through the many stages of grief. Sometimes it feels good to remember special moments about your loved one, but sometimes you just need to get mad and throw a few rocks.
I miss Brittany more than I can ever have the words to express. It’s so very wrong that she is not here. It’s just so very wrong……