So, 15 years and one day after I thought I’d never receive anything new from him again, something made me go to the highest, darkest corner of my closet. I have a very tiny box of his things, as he died at only 11 days. The thing that I didn’t remember was what this box contained. I found some clothes, unwashed though I can’t smell him there any longer. A few stuffed toys. And an album.
The hyperventilating that ensued forced me to my knees, just now, as no mother should ever have this sort of album. It might be a little known fact that we once put our dead relatives before a camera to capture a memory, and at times this would be the only photo a family had of their infant.
It may sound quite strange, to have pictures of a dead child. To a mom of loss, this may have been offered to you. You may have declined. You may have accepted. When it was offered to me, it felt like an insult. Like a punch in the throat. At 19 years of age, I thought quickly and agreed, but only when I left the room. The thing not on your mind is that there will keep on being photographs. People will age. But not him.
I had a photo album that my first husband kept, and it was filled with Jeremiah. I went about 12 years until my pseudo-grandma passed on a picture of her holding my son. You really have no idea what that does to a person. In the age of instant pictures for the whole world to see, I finally have one more. Eleven days old. Two photographs I can hold in my hands.
Until tonight. His box called to me. On the bottom was a small gift bag. It was stiff, as I guess an old bag would get after 15 years. I opened it and there it was. Fifteen years and 1 day after I held him and his tiny energy left his body…I received an album. With pictures of my son. In a very tiny white casket. A scary…deeply beautiful gift.
I was unprepared for this, this night. I looked through it quickly, trying to deny that this is part of my life. I shut it just as quickly, but went back for a second look, then a third. I remembered things I had suppressed. Man, 15 years is a long time.
Love until later,