When I had coffee with one of my wise women last Friday, I commented that I’m learning to ask myself how I feel. I will see something, and my brain will begin to sound klaxons – whoop, whoop, this should hurt – and so it seems as if I feel the hurt, even though it doesn’t actually hurt.
To put it another way, it’s liking pulling off a band-aid, you flinch before hand, knowing it’s going to hurt, except it doesn’t. It’s painless.
I gave away my maternity clothes tonight. Lock, stock and 2 rubber maid totes full. I imagine I’ll offer the crib and mattress next. I offered the rocking chair on loan because it is a family piece. It’s not mine to give away, although heaven knows what anyone will do with it after Mr. Spit and I die.
And as I was hauling the totes upstairs, I kept asking myself, does this hurt? I was poking and prodding my psyche. I loaned out some clothes this time last year, and that was hard. Yet this time?
I cried a bit. I pulled out the same pieces, my favourite shirt, the pants and shirt I wore to the hospital and then home again. I leaned my forehead against the living room wall and my eyes filled up with tears.
I have taken the shirt I wore to the hospital and home out from the boxes. I will tuck it in my bottom drawer. I don’t need it and I cannot quite give it away. I cannot quite take this bit of cloth that is just a purple shirt and hand it away as if it is only a bit of cloth.
This time it feels more final. It has been almost a year since I was pregnant last. December will mark three years since Gabriel came and left us. We are not sure where we are on our fertility journey, but I don’t entirely know if it will involve maternity clothes. I suspect not.
And they are, well they are just clothes. They are no different than the clothes sitting in my office that are too large. They are extra, superfluous. They are going to a good home. When I think about it – when I get past the klaxons – the truth is this: I am tickled pink because Mel and I have very similar taste in clothing and I know that I am saving her a lot of money on clothes, and she will wear them and enjoy them. It will bring me joy to see her wearing them. I wish I could be there to watch her look through them, try them on.
I am learning the low level – the background noise of tragedy – it is always there. It does not change whether the clothes are in my basement or on someone’s body. Nothing changes what happened, and nothing changes how unfair it was, is, and always be. And yet, I’m not sad about this. I’m mostly just the same, wishing things could have been different, but knowing they aren’t. Slightly comforted by the fact that I can provide a good thing to someone else.