I’ve been a little MIA this week with writing. If you’ve followed along with my journey, I moved into my house exactly eight weeks after Jensen was born and posted about those challenges here. I purchased the house a few months before I got pregnant and it was a complete fixer-upper. We rushed to finish it before he arrived, which we probably wouldn’t have even if he was born at forty weeks. Anyways, the whole pregnancy I designed his nursery, the living room he’d take his first steps, and the mudroom where I’d be able to watch him from the backdoor window.
Well this week, I’ve been working on getting everything organized and decorated in my home office. It’s been a BIG task for me. There’s so many work papers, supplies, and moving all the furniture that I’ve done mostly by myself (My mom has been a huge help for me!). During this time, I’ve found old pictures and notes I wrote to myself during high school. It’s been fun to go through and try to remember those moments. I’ve had bad memory loss since Jensen was born, so it made the gears turn in my head. Which is both good in bad. When some good flashbacks come, the bad also slide in there. I’ve been handling it quite well actually.
BUT, as I just said, with the good comes the bad.
Today, I hit a box that was filled around my final weeks of pregnancy. Only, I didn’t know it had all of these memories piled in it. At first, it was certain clothes I wore during that time. Then the movies and TV shows I had watched in the last two months. All made me smile because those were happy items that I shared with Jensen. They helped me with my swollen feet and I can remember the shirts I wore to rub my belly and talking to him. Seeing these made my heart flutter, but I had to keep pushing through. This room would never get done with this box unpacked.
I had this mentality until I pulled the next thing out.
It was a tiny, black box with a clear cover over it. Being a stationary lover, I knew it was a box of cards. I thought I had organized all of my cards and put them away. When I opened it up, cards fell out onto the floor. As I began to reach down to pick them up, I froze when I saw what they were.
Unwritten, baby shower thank you cards.
I bought them only twenty-days before Jensen’s silent arrival and hadn’t had time to write them out for the baby shower guests. Those final weeks were full of preparing and organizing diapers, lotion, and clothes from my shower. I figured I’d add a picture of Jensen and his details when he was born to send them out to everyone.
These were supposed to be happy cards filled with love and good news. Jensen and I were supposed to be using all those beautiful gifts and showing off his cute outfits to everyone.
Just as those cards remained unwritten, those gifts are still being unused.
Triggers aren’t always seeing happy, healthy babies with their moms or a glowing pregnant woman when you’re out and about. They can come in a small, black box of unwritten thank you cards in the comforts of home. Both take your breath away, they unsettle your very soul.
Hemingway once wrote this six-letter story:
“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
People say it’s the saddest sentence they’ve ever read. I agree, it’s sad and it is hell to live through. Today, I can tell you that saddest words are the ones that were never written. The thank you’s that were never sent out.
Their blank insides will forever haunt me.
We lost our son, Silas, on 8.3.16, six hours after he was born. Silas had a congenital heart defect and there was a complication during the cardiac procedure after he was born, resulting in his death. The week before he was born, I worked on thank you cards for our baby shower. I didn’t finish them all. Needless to say, I put away the unfinished ones when we got home from the hospital because I couldn’t bear to look at them. I recently came across that stack of unwritten cards in my desk and thought what a shame it is that I will never mail them. On the other hand, those same women who showered us with gifts in May, showed up for us in August. With meals, flowers, coffee, and most importantly, their presence. Perhaps, I can use those cards to express my gratitude in grief. 💙
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Erin, I am so sorry for the loss of your son, Silas. It’s so heartbreaking. It was so hard for me to see them and they didn’t even cross my mind until today. I think that would be so beautiful to send them out to express your gratitude and how they have helped you on the day of your baby shower and especially in your grief. This is a beautiful idea that I may have to steal as well. Thank you so much for sharing with me. Again, I’m so sorry for your loss, you will be in my prayers. Hugs!
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