Lucy’s been gone more than a month, not long enough to remove the pain, but long enough that it is more of a dull and profound ache. Unfortunately, this misery is punctured with brilliant, piercing pain every time we find things she left behind.
I’ve taken most of her things downstairs, her highchair, her old walker, most of her books, her puzzles, some of her toys, the big things that hurt to look at. There are still a few things I’ve not yet taken down, like her bike and doll stroller (with Sally sitting right where she left her), because the pain of erasing traces of her all at once is too much. So, I take things away slowly, one at a time, when no one is looking, so we don’t all give in to prolonged bouts of open weeping.
But we still find Lucy in unexpected places, and the pain is fresh.
Her favorite little ball, a gift from her Uncle Danny, was under the ottoman, discovered while vacuuming.
Her favorite big ball, under her little table.
A little pink sock was in the couch cushions, along with one of her little bells, and another sock is tucked away behind the cake stands on one of the kitchen cabinets.
Her little bean bag bear was under a blanket. There was a pretty little pink hair pretty in the bathroom, the one she could never leave in more than a minute or two.
Her spoons were still in the silverware drawer.
There’s a too-small summer sandal on the back porch and a baby book in with the DVDs.
There are hundreds of teeth marks on Libby’s old crib that don’t belong to Libby.
Puzzle pieces, a favorite old cup one of the girls used and left out, all little pieces of Lucy.
Most of the memories are sweet, so bittersweet doesn’t really fit, but there is a lot of pain when they come unexpectedly like that. We probably will not get used to it.
Yes, of course, it is better to have loved and lost, and I know she is not lost, she’s just in California, which some say is about the same. I wouldn’t trade our time with her for anything, and any pain now is worth it. We just miss her, and hope she comes home soon.
You might mention that to her mom if you see her….