Friday, November 2, 2012

Washing Away

Today I did something that I didnt think I would ever do, I washed my Bug'sblankie, the one that I have slept with almost every night since he passed. I havent washed it since beforehe passed because it still had spit-up on it and I didnt want to wash that away. It still smelled like him for the longest time, I would close my eyes, cuddle it by my face, and just feel and smell him in it. It was dirty and dingy and didnt smell like my bug anymore, it started to smell like me and my dogs, and it just wasnt the same so I knew what it was time to do, give my blankie a bath.

I made the decision last night, and cried for a good while thinking about it, knowing that the time had come. I knew that I would have to do it eventually, I knew that if I wanted it to last forever, which I do, that I would have to wash it. I was just sad that it was finally here. This has been more than just any blanket to me. Like a child and it's blankie, this blanket has brouht me so much comfort over the last year, I have spent so much time crying into this blankie, it was like my hankie too. At first, if I woke up in the middle of the night, I would go into a panic if I couldnt find it in my bed, like it was gone. I knew that it was always there, that it didnt go anywhere, but if it wasnt in my arms, or on my pillow, I would panic because it wasn't close to me. That blankie is so much more, it symbolizes my son, and i cant let it go. It's my most prized posession of his. I have other blankies that I cuddle with, and have a "back-up" that I use on occasion as well, but its not my special blankie. I remember the days after my son passed just wrapping myself in it, like I was wrapping myself in my son's arms somehow, just wrapping myself in his memory, it was so comforting to me. I have so many of my son's items that have a special meaning, all of his things do, and always will, but none more than that blankie. I cant imagine ever going without it for more than a few nights.

This blankie is so special because it was made just for my bug. At my baby shower, we played a game where we passed around a basket filled with tiny cloth diapers that were folded and pinned like a real cloth diaper. Everyone opened their "diaper" and the one that had a "surprise" in it (a little smudge of brown eyeshadow) was the winning diaper. Bug's great aunt was the winner. Bug's godmother (another great aunt of his) was at the babyshower, and so was her mother-in-law, who was very crafty. She had made 2 quilts already for my bug, which were given to me at the shower. She approached me and asked if we could collect the cloth squares that were the "diapers" and if she could sue them to make another quilt. I was exstatic, of course I told her! She took them home and I anxiously awaited her masterpiece. The day Bug was born, his godmother came to the hospital to see him, and she brought the blankie for us. The first time I saw my bug,all bundled up, in the recovery room, he was wrapped in that blanket. That blanket was laid across his bassinette and used non-stop the first few days we were in the hospital, many of Bug's loved ones held him for the first time with that blanket. It was filled with all the love of those who came to my baby shower, and even more love from those who came to visit him, even after he came home. It was my favorite blanket to use for him, I used it most nights, to cover him when I was rocking him to sleep, or when I was nursing him. That was his blankie, his special, made just for him, one of a kind, filled with love, blankie.

When I made the decision to wash blankie, I called my boyfriend, he is always a great source of support, especially when it comes to the Bug. He talked me through it, and reminded me that I wasn't washing away my Bug, because that was impossible, I could never wash him away. It was encouraging, but I decided to have just one more night with it the way it was. I Cried into my blankie one last night, the way it was, knowing what today would bring. This morning I did all my laundry, trying to prolong the inevitable, and finally decided to wash it alone, by itself, to make sure it didn't get torn up. I said a prayer, asked Bug to keep it safe in the wash, and pressed the buttons. I used little detergent, and some stain remover, because I didn't want it to smell like anything, I thought that maybe I could preserve what little smell was left with of him, or make it easier to at least pretend that it still had his smell. I sat there for half an hour watching as my blankie went round and round, and realized just how dirty it was. I was relieved that it was geting clean, because I realized that it was kind of gross how dirty it was, but that doesnt matter, it was my gross blankie and I loved it. I realized that I was washing away a year's worth of tears, washing away the heartache that I have had this first year, in a way it was symbolic, of closing the chapter of the dreaded first year of grief, and beginning my journey on without my son. I am washing away the tears becasue they were in a way weighing down my blankie. I know I will still cry into my blankie, I know I will still find comfort in it, I know that it is still special, and comforting, and still Bug's blankie. That will never change, no matter how much it gets washed.

Today I took a big step in what I did, to many it may sound silly, and ridiculious that washing a blanket that was so dirty is such a big deal. When all I have left is these little things, when all I have left physical of my son is his clothing and blankets that smell like him, or his footprints, or his hair, these are the things that I cherish the most. When you don't have much to hang on to anymore, you hang on so tight to what you can. It may sound like just another blanket, or another load of laundry, but it's so much more to a bereaved mother. Today I took a big step, I tested my strength, and I did ok. I washed my blankie, and I'm ok.

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