“One day every that Leah touched will be gone.”
This thought haunted me in the early part of my grief journey. It felt like if I no longer had anything that Leah touched that our connection would be gone. I knew that this was not true. For example, I have her key ring with me keys. Her touch from it is long gone, but it was hers and it connects me to her.
Things remind us of our loved ones; photos, clothing, objects that were special to them, or that they made for us. My fear was that if I no longer had anything of Leah’s that I would lose touch with her.
Her room remained as she had left it for over 3 years.
I couldn’t bear to even consider getting rid of her things; it seemed disloyal, it seemed invasive. Eventually, when I was ready to go through her things, I asked a friend who did not know Leah to help me. She was not grieving in the same way that a friend of hers, or mine would be grieving for her.
It was not an easy task, going through her belongings, and deciding what to save and what to give away; yet it was made much easier doing it with someone who was not attached to her things like I was. I kept a lot during that first time going through her things. The next time I was faced with letting go of her things was several years later when we moved. Moving from the house in which we lived when Leah was physically present was hard enough, letting go of more of her things seemed monumental.
With each subsequent move I was able to release more of the material, physical things that I associated with having a connection with my daughter. What I learned throughout that time is that while my physical connection with her was gone, she was still a part of my life in many other ways.
As I tended to my grief, my connection with her spirit deepened.
She would often visit me in other ways; in dreams, with a scent, with a memory, reminding me of her sense of humor, with a song. I came to see all of these little synchronicities as continuations of our relationship.
All of the ways she connected with me were clear signs that she was still a part of my life, and that she remains in my heart.