The packing has already started: when our real estate agent first came over to have a look at our house, she encouraged us to start decluttering and packing away extraneous stuff right away. We did a lot of purging when we painted the house last fall -- but I've read enough and seen enough realtor listings that I knew the drill when it comes to getting your house ready for sale: clean surfaces, no personal photos, minimal tchotchkes (sp?).
Presumably, this includes keepsakes from lost pregnancies. (ESPECIALLY keepsakes from lost pregnancies.) I knew it would be hard to get rid of and pack away my stuff, but putting away all my Katie and infertility-related stuff was harder than I thought it would be. Because I walked into my bedroom & looked around, thinking, "well, this has to go, and this, and this, and this..." Including (but not limited to):
- Several angel figurines from different friends, on top of the piano.
- The lovely quilt square made by a former support group client, now a dear friend.
- A Classic Pooh suncatcher and stained glass angel, hanging from my mirror.
- Katie's ultrasound photo on top of my dresser, in a baby-themed photo frame with the inscription "We dreamed of you."
- A framed photo of me in my hospital bed, holding Katie, with dh & my mom at my side.
- Boyd's Bears figurines: a pregnant mama bear and a little girl bear on her first day of school (bought the week Katie would have started Grade 1).
- The Swarovski butterly dh gave me for Christmas one year.
- A Classic Pooh music box that plays "Little Black Rain Cloud."
- A baby bracelet & "message in a bottle," both crafts made in support group sessions.
- A little green stone inscribed with "believe," which has sat on my night table for the past 17 years -- a gift from a fellow loss mom that I met when I first went online. (Caprice, if you're out there somewhere, I still have it & I still think of you!)
- A stuffed stork that's sat on the headboard of our bed for years, first as a ttc good-luck token and then (when it became apparent THAT wasn't working) as birth control (lol).
I've never been one to talk too openly about Katie in public -- but here in my home, I've always felt safe, free to express my pride and my grief through little things, like refrigerator magnets and figurines and stuffed animals.
So it was sad/jarring to have to let the outside world intrude on my relationship with my daughter -- to hide away any traces of her existence that might not only qualify as "clutter" but conjure up questions and visions of dark clouds hanging over this house.
It's not that I'm not proud of her, proud to be her mother. It's just that the world hasn't yet developed a comfort level in facing these kinds of things. And I wanted to sell my house. And I was going to have pack everything up anyway, sooner or later.
This was only a temporary measure, of course. I will bring out Katie's things again in the new place.
But it was sad to strip the place she never got to call home of all reminders of her brief existence.