For the last 7 months, I have had a bag on Scarlet's floor labled on one side with "Patient Belongings." On the other side written in black marker was, "Kingston Memories." When I left the hospital 7 months ago after giving birth, I didn't get to leave with a baby in my arms. I left with a bag full of memories. I remember sitting outside my room right before I left in my wheelchair. I looked at my door with the green handprint on it. The handprint indicated to everyone who passed by, that I was a mother of a child who had passed away. I started bawling as I looked at it. I didn't get to bring my son home. My arms were empty. All I had was his bag of memories. This bag contained Kingston's blankets (3 of them to be exact). Every blanket he was wrapped in, we kept. There was no way I could let go of what held my precious son and kept him warm in his final hours. There was a heart-shaped box that contained a replica of his diaper, his little beanie he wore right after birth (it still has goo in it even, gross I know), his name bracelets that he never wore, and his hand and foot prints. It also contained the hundreds of photos we had taken of our time together and the precious time with him after he passed away. This bag contained memories, but also a lot of pain. Every time I would open the bag and see his blankets, I would feel an emptiness in my heart.
Today, I grew the strength to remove the items from our "Kingston's Memories" bag and place them in a storage tote and put it away... Off of the floor, no longer in a bag, but in a safe place. It was hard. Harder than I wanted it to be. I pulled his outfits out of the closet and placed them in the box. They are no longer where I see them when I open the closet. It breaks my heart.
In my religion, we believe that we are forever families and we will be together for eternity. That's absolutely wonderful, but guess what? That knowledge doesn't heal the physical pain of losing a child. I can't pick up the pieces of my broken heart and mend it overnight. It's not possible. For my time left on earth, all I have to remember my son are memories, and memories fade. I hate that. But for now, I will cherish what I have, even if it is a box now labled "Kingston Ryan Hone."