Something that’s been interesting to me during this year of compiling legacy writing posts is that it forced me to go through all my mother’s photos. After her death in 2008, I found that whenever I opened the trunk where I’d stored them, I could look at a few pictures, then I would start feeling out of breath, and I’d have to put it all away. These are the kinds of things we do when we’re ready, and if we can’t predict when that will be, we have to remember that no one else can, either. After years of listening to and trying to comfort people through losses, I’ve repeated so many times, “Grief has no timetable and no expiration date. Every loss is different, and every individual has a unique coping and healing process.”
Somehow it’s harder to say that to oneself, but fortunately, there are others who will remind me from time to time. I’ve found since April, I can’t look at any of Aaron’s baby pictures without feeling that same out-of-breath sensation, so I don’t push myself.
Many years ago, Lynne made a little outfit for a bunny for me from some fabric we both liked. I asked if she could make bears from that fabric, too. There was only enough fabric for one bear, so we dubbed him “Share Bear,” and said that sometimes he’d stay at my house, and sometimes at her house. Funny thing is, I think I’ve had him ever since! She’s probably forgotten about him.
Here, you see the Bunny and Share Bear posed in front of some flowers that Debby brought to The Compound and arranged (I’m sorry that they appear to be growing out of Share Bear’s head; they’re actually in a beautiful vase our friend Sarena gave me a long time ago).
I was reminded of Share Bear and the Bunny when I was putting some old photos away. I saw the envelope with Aaron’s name, and I randomly reached in and pulled out a photo without looking through them. Here’s the one I picked.
I don’t know who might have made Aaron’s bear, but it looks similar in pattern and fabric to Share Bear. I didn’t know Aaron when he was a baby. We lived so far apart that he was already eight when I met him in November of 2001. I’ll probably share that story and some photos from the occasion next month.