When someone you love very deeply passes away... you are left wondering what to do with their stuff.... there are less 'things' to determine what to do with when your loved one is only 12 weeks old, but perhaps that is what makes it even harder. When do you decided to take down the crib? How do you decide when to put away his bouncy chair? What do you do with his toys? I know, because I've read a lot about grief, there will come a time when I will "just know" when the time is right... similar to when you "just know" the one you are dating is the one. Thank goodness we are built with a "just know" feature because, at this point, I'm not seeing that I will ever want to put his stuff away. I've got the big stuff packed up, the swing, the rocker, the floor mat.... but his little crib is still in our room, so is his bouncy chair. They sit there, a reminder of what we had and of course, what we no longer have. There are times when they hurt my heart, but there are other times when they make me smile. When I look at his little crib, I remember the mornings when I would get out of the shower and peer over the edge of his bed, thinking he was sleeping, only to find him smiling up at me! How my heart would swell with love at the sight of that smile.... most days however, they neither make me sad or make me happy, they are just there. They are just a part of our every day lives... Something I don't think about it, but know I would as soon as they were no longer there. I am noticing though as time continues to slip away, some of his possessions are becoming almost idol-like. I hear myself saying "Don't touch that, it was Declan's." "Put that away, it's special, it was your brothers." I have caught myself of the verge of screaming "How dare you! That belongs to Declan!" As if his stuff is off limits to everyone but me. As if preserving my memories are more important than helping my children remember their brother. It is the ugly side of grief... often thinking no one else's pain is more important than yours. I have to remind myself that Declan's things are just that.... things. When I find Courty playing with something of his, I take a few deep breaths and wait until she is done and then I quickly pick it up and place it in the hope chest. His things are precious to me. We will get no more new 'things' of his.... what we have is all we get. So yes, I want to keep his stuff special...but I know I have to be flexible and patient... yelling won't help, screaming only brings tears to both my kids and myself. Turing my sweet Declan's possessions into idols is not healthy... I know that. It is however, a knee jerk reaction to my attempts at preserving his memory. Something I have to try hard to not do.... There will come a time, I have no doubt, that I will "just know" what to do with Declan's stuff... when my mind will lead me down the road of healing, to a place where Declan resides more in my heart than in his possessions.