I Packed Them Up

I was just scanning the pictures on my facebook and came across this one I posted 5-4-13, not even a month after Kaitlyn died. I wanted to post it here just because:

“Kaitlyn, I have just gone through the last few boxes of your things that I held out for putting them up in a sturdy box to keep forever. Among these things represented a huge part of your life. Kaitlyn, in this collection I kept the T-shirt you had from high school from the play Fiddler on the Roof. I kept a t-shirt that had “Class of 2008” on the front and “Done” on the back. I kept your Campbell University Cap and tassel. There’s the card listing sequence of events on the White Coat Ceremony with your name with all the other class of 2015 Medical Students. There’s your dissection kit, your kit with all the doctor assessment things in it such as an eye chart, and all sorts of things of that nature. I took your Medical Student ID tag and attached it to your white medical coat where in now hangs in the spare room closet, so now it’s complete along with the note pads in one pocket and your Littman III stethoscope in your other pocket, just like you left it. I kept all the T-shirts of the runs that you were in; the half marathon and the marathon that you so proudly entered and finished, along with your number tags that you wore on your shirt and the medals that you proudly had for participating in these runs. Kaitlyn, I kept your little makeup fold up carrier and lipstick that you had. I wrapped it up in a ziplock plastic bag so nothing would ever melt and run out of there. It was so personal, I had to keep it though you wore makeup at a minimal, and just enough. I kept a little hair clasp that you kept your hair pulled back when you ran.

With all these things, I so carefully folded and placed them in a sturdy plastic box and then I placed your Wake Forest School of Medicine book bag over the top, sealed it up and put it away in our spare room. I took some of your favorite necklaces and bracelets and put them away in the box that looked like a book that sits on the table that was yours and now sits in my living room. Also the book’s contents have your passport that you used to go to Canada and Africa and had planned on going to many other countries in your life. It now lies dormant. I also put 2 of your watches in there.

I took your few clothes that you still had not washed that were in your clothes basket, that I didn’t have the heart to wash, and put them away, never ever to be washed because they have your scent. The scent is not a dirty scent because you never smelled dirty in your life; they just have your sweet scent and I can’t wash them away.

So, that pretty much ends the assorting of all your things except for a few more things to give to your sister Stephanie and a picture for Ian McPherson, that was beautifully framed with you and him in it that I will give him next week. You had this on the wall in your apartment, you were very good friends.

Your ipod and your cell phone now also lie in the drawer of your table. I know these things you handled so much that some of your spirit is in them.

All of these things are not just things to me. They represent the wonderful experiences you had in your life. For Kaitlyn, even though you said you were sad all your life in your letter, I know you had happiness and reached for the stars, caught many of them, and could have had them all.

The pain of a mother’s grief over a child, and one that was so special to her, is a pain that they have not come up with a name for yet because there’s no word that can capture such agony. You left a hole in my heart and soul that only you could ever fill. But I know you didn’t mean to hurt those you love, you were just too tired of the sadness to fight on.

I do know one thing for sure, I loved you as much as a human can possibly love another person, and I know you knew this for a fact, because I told you, and I told you often.

Kaitlyn happy

About gatito2

My name is Rhonda. I'm a registered nurse, for the last 20 years, that has not been able to work since the day I learned of my daughter's death by suicide 4-12-13. (She actually died 4-11-13 and her body was not found until the 12th) Me and my husband have been married for 32 years and he's a wonderful man. We grieve in different ways. He works, I write. This is my journey through this horrible land of losing a child..
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10 Responses to I Packed Them Up

  1. Missy's Crafty Mess says:

    Your daughter is absolutely beautiful. This post reminded me of sorting through my Sister’s belongings after she passed away. Blessings to you this holiday season.


  2. Too beautiful for this world, she spread her wings and flew home.


  3. gatito2 says:

    Yes she did.


  4. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much. I’m so sorry about your sister’s death.


  5. kpatkins says:

    After Josh died I washed the things I saved, I wished I hadn’t, I would love to be able to pick up his favorite so worn out and a bit dirty monkey he slept with. I didn’t think about it losing the scent of him completely but it did. I packed it away for years but it now sits on my chaise reading chair in the office but even after all these years I wish I hadn’t wash it


  6. gatito2 says:

    I almost washed them. As a matter of fact I had already put a couple of items in the washer before I stopped. They STILL hold her scent because they still sit in the clothes basket and on top of them is her pocketbook and tote bag she used in medical school. As a matter of fact, the whole spare room smells like her. The afghan I use of hera lost its scent about 4 days after I brought it home because I use it daily. Don’t feel bad about washing his things. I gave away most of Kaitlyn’s clothes and I so wish I had not. I wish I had kept them all. I didn’t know that I should really do nothing with them until I had part of my right mind back again.


  7. kpatkins says:

    Same here, I donated a lot of his toys to a children’s shelter, even doing something kind with his things I still wished I had waited for a while. Years ago I felt I moved too quick on sharing his things but I’m not making myself nutty about the choice anymore


  8. gatito2 says:

    Me too. I feel good about most of the choices I made about her things, just wished I kept a few more of her clothes, sometimes all of them. And I still have so many of her things and I cherish them.


  9. lensgirl53 says:

    We have to hang on to all that was them. I have a china cabinet that no longer holds china but only holds things of Brandon…his stethoscope, blunt end scissors, his nursing pin, even all his college books, pictures from every age of his life, trophies from football, and gifts that he had given me over the years. I have a trunk of all his athletic clothes that still smell of testosterone …his wrist wraps, his boxing gloves….so many things. I am glad to know that I am not the only one who has held on to these material things that as you say, still have their spirit in them. I have Brandon’s “new” cell phone that he used that morning to call us (he called at 10:10 and we spoke for 17 minutes)..to give us his new number. I never ever got to call that number….so many things. It would seem that all mothers are alike in this manner. We hold onto the next best thing if we can’t actually hold on to our children in the flesh.


  10. gatito2 says:

    That’s exactly how I feel. It’s not them, but I feel their spirit remains in them some how, or some part of it. The energy is still there.


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