Today I did something hard. Really hard. I've prayed for years that this day would not come, but it did. In the storage room I had bin of brand new baby girl clothes, toys, and decor. Since the day my daughter was stillborn nearly 5 years ago I have prayed that I would not have to give them away unused. This morning I packed them up and gave them to a friend who recently had her 14th child.
Why did I do it? Why not just continue to hang on to them? It's not like we've given up on trying to have another baby. God willing, there will be another little Darr (oh, and btw God, I'm hoping for a girl). What's another couple years?
It was time.
It was time to let go of these adorable little clothes and let an adorable little baby wear them.
It was time to stop thinking of them as Keenan's clothes. Keenan, sadly, didn't get to wear them and if we're blessed with a little girl she will deserve her own clothes. A little girl does not need to live in the shadow of her dead sister.
It was time to stop worrying about using the clothes.
It was time to let go of the final "things" I had to connect me to Keenan. After all, it's just stuff. Keenan is hanging out with the Beatific Vision, singing with the angles and saints, and is certainly not thinking about a box of clothes in the attic.
There were a few blessings out of all this. First, every single piece will be the perfect size at the right time for my friend's little girl.
Second, the youngest child in a big family will get to wear brand new clothes. No hand me downs for this mini-fashionista.
Finally, maybe it seems silly to hang on to unworn baby clothes. What's the big deal? I have plenty of clothes that my son didn't get a chance to wear in those days that he grew like a weed and I'll probably sell them in a garage sale next week without remorse. But, when a baby dies, it's different. Every single thing that would have "belonged" to that baby becomes sacred in some way. Each item is revered as "the baby's". The truth of the matter, those things don't actually matter, it's just stuff. What matters is how much I love her and miss her and not what outfit she would have worn. Today was about letting go of stuff, but not letting go of her.