This week we finally were allowed to get Sloan’s beloved blanket back. Another grief “milestone”. It was still in the brown paper bag labeled “evidence” that it had been taken away in. Never accessed, sitting on a shelf for 5 months. I was hesitant to open the bag and look at it. Since the day he was born, he’d loved this blanket. I was afraid to look at it. Afraid that it wouldn’t still smell like him, that it’s grey fleece would have lost his scent in the eternity it felt like we’d been separated from it.
Halfway home, Justin asked me to take it out so he could hold it. I opened the bag and gasped as I pulled out the blanket and buried my face in it before handing it to him. I instantly felt tears burning in my eyes, and a lump forming in my throat. It is still filled with the smell of our sweet baby. As if he was just cuddling it moments before. It was the first time we’d smelled our baby since his death.
A year ago, Sloan was a newborn, wrapped in this blanket, in our arms. Five months ago, SIDS caused this blanket to take him from us. For 5 months it sat in a paper bag on a shelf in the basement of the city building. Now it sits in that paper bag, on a shelf in our home. Grief is a battle, and we have to take it one step at a time.