This woman makes memory bears from clothes of a loved one who died. She does it for free at the bereavement center so I jumped at the chance to do this for the girls…I wanted to do one for myself too but held back but I think I will do one next year.
She personalized the bears heads with whimsical stars and music notes. At first I was taken aback at how snazzy they looked but the girls love the bears. They sleep with them and when they hold them, it’s John they hold. They are so soft and cuddly-like a pillow-like how John was before he lost all that weight. So now, I can’t help but love them too.
It was hard going through John’s shirts with the girls but I wanted them to pick them out. His shirts and pants are in bags but he does have clothes still hanging in the closet and his underwear/sock drawer is still untouched. I can’t donate and throw his clothes out just yet.
During the Winter, I needed my jacket but John wore it last year and it was packed away so I went into our closet and looked around a bit. I found and put on his long black one. It felt so warm and it smelled like him. When I zipped it up, I felt some things jiggling around in his pockets. I felt like I was snooping. I took out some receipts, photos, his ear muffs and a packet of tissues. It was so overwhelming because these were things that were waiting for him. His hands should have been reaching in to remember the contents in his pockets to find, not mine and I couldn’t stand anymore. I sat on the floor crying. I heard Izzy and KitKat playing downstairs and I didn’t care. I couldn’t stop the pain. How am I going to go through all the other pockets? What little things am I going to find? I’m not ready to go through those other pockets just yet. It’s too painful.
When I went downstairs, I passed the girls and they smelled the jacket and both said it was their dad’s smell and wanted to cuddle. So we sat on the couch, and I had my arms around each of them. We took turns smelling him and remembering him.
I guess I still want that for us-a chance to smell him and remember him that way so keeping the clothes is just another way to keep him with us.
The memory bears have pockets and the girls will be able to put things in them-and like John’s pockets-I wonder what I will find when I look in them…