I went through his things today.
Many of them I hadn’t seen since he was alive. The things that had been carefully folded and packed away neatly in boxes, by my best friend and my mom, nearly 3 years ago.
There were items that still had tags attached, things I had bought that he had never been given the chance to grow into, some I had even ordered only days before he died. I remember when those packages arrived in the weeks following his death. How my mom would try to intercept them for me, or how I’d hand them off to her to deal with because I couldn’t face the reality of him never getting to wear them.
There were the pieces of sibling sets, the newborn hospital hats, and the bright red stocking that the hospital gives out for December babies. There were even items still smeared with his teething drool, some still marred with spit up from his last days, that hadn’t been washed off yet.
I cherish those things, the ruined ones. The ones that still bear traces of his living, breathing, being. I could remember when he’d worn or used each and every thing I ran my fingers over, somehow still so vivid and familiar.
It took me almost 3 years to find the strength to revisit these pieces of him, and now I want to live there in that space. In those memories, in that closeness to something he’d touched. My body aches, and I’m not sure if it’s from the heaviness of the boxes, or the weight of the grief.