I was sorting through some of Maddi’s baby clothes today, keeping a few items for keepsakes and boxing up the remainder to give away. The process didn’t hold much thought, until I noticed my piles. Without realizing it, I was dividing the clothes by time period – those that had been touched by Shawn and those that had not. The first pile held memory of him. These were not only the baby clothes he had touched – this pile represented a different life, a time in which he held his daughter, changed her, loved her, participated in her life. The other pile of clothes continued on the time line of six months and older. These were the sizes Maddi wore after her father was killed. They did not involve her dad. They symbolized detachment. There was no connection.
I paused in the middle of my mundane activity and contemplated, "it all starts over." Grief circles around and around, much like the tragedy itself, it does not announce when it will bring you back to a place you thought you already were. Here I am again finding myself in the middle of the circle holding new and old emotions all in one little sweater. I don’t want to let go. But, that isn’t how time works, so I pack the outfit in a box.