Thursday, January 13, 2011

A "Hairy" Situation

There was a day a few weeks ago that I felt desperate.

Desperate to be able to touch Joshua one more time. I felt desperate to have some sort of connection to him just once more.

We have a tub of Joshua's things in our dining room. It's a rather large tub that takes up a lot of room, but we just can't put it away.

In my desperation, I had the genius idea of going through his things.

Just before Joshua died, I desperately needed to do laundry. So I collected his bag of dirty clothes and blankets from the hospital and did his laundry along with mine. (I don't remember if it was that Monday or Tuesday night when I did the laundry- he died on a Wednesday.) Since I did all of the laundry, we only have one outfit that smells like him.

So, I opened up his tub of things and searched for his outfit that I could hold, smell, and touch. In the midst of digging through his things, I found a little bag of his hair.

Oh his hair....When he was alive, his hair was always sweaty and greasy. I would hold the top of his head under the faucet in his room and wash his hair in luke warm water to make it fluffy and clean. He loved the sensation of it, and would coo and look around with those big beautiful eyes while I scrubbed his head clean. Once he was cleaned up, I would smell his head like there was no tomorrow- trying to savor his smell as much as I could (with the knowledge that tomorrow is never promised for any of us.)

When I found the bag of his hair, I had the uncontrollable urge to just touch his hair one more time.


I took the lock of  his hair out very carefully. I held it in the palm of my hand, then between my fingertips. Oh, it was so soft. I felt like I was in heaven.

Then I started to sob. Deep breaths became my only way of getting oxygen to my lungs. In and out. In and out. In and OUT.....the last out ended up blowing Joshua's hair out of my hand and all over the floor and all over my shirt.

At first, I was mortified. I couldn't believe I had done that. I felt even bigger sobs coming. But before I knew it, I was laughing hysterically. What kind of an idiot trys to hold her dead son's hair in her hands and expects it to go well- to stay in the nice neat little clump that was in the baggie?!

So I began to get down on my hands and knees to start searching for individual peices of his hair on the dining room rug. I could hardly see as I was half laughing/half sobbing and running my hands along the rug (as if I could feel the tiny and fine strands of hair on the rug!).

What a sight I was!

After much searching, and finally deciding that ultimately it was a funny story (good thing we have 2 bags of his hair!) I decided to give up. (the thought came to me to never vaccuum that spot again- a good reason to never vaccuum again huh?!) I also decided that telling Shane what I did was probably not a good idea- at least for a few days! What an idiot I am sometimes!

I put what little hair I had left into a tin that my friend Carla painted for me. I don't think I will be handling his hair ever again!

Even though they are not the types of memories I thought we would be making with Joshua- it's these types of memories and stories that are helping to keep him alive in my heart and in my mind. I just have to laugh because I know he would be!


brookie said...

Jill - I am crying /laughing with you guys

Molly Alisa Photography said...

Oh Jill. I do LOVE your sense of humor. I love the strength it gives you.

I love love love the tin Carla painted, too.

Deidre said...

I have thought about doing the same thing Jill!!! But I was terrified that it would turn out horribly so I've yet to do it... Loving the idea of never vacuuming again! I do however pull out Ayden's blankets and socks from the hospital and sniff them... More like INHALE them... I'm sure I'm quite the sight to see to my family! Maybe that's why Chris thinks I'm so incredibly delirious... LOL!!! I don't care, it keeps me in contact with my sweet babe and he can kiss it for all I care!!! ;-) Love to you my dear!!!

Carla Sue said...

Yay for the tin getting use! Here's a little self promotion on my end...if you like the tin, "like" it on facebook:!/pages/Heartworks/111928408872322

And I'm dying to know, what'd Shane say when you told him? I laughed just as hard today, reading the story, as I did last week when you told me! Oh dear!

Love ya lady!

Becky C said...

You have a wealth of hidden strength - God's strength coming through??

Green In OC said...

You could tie some string/thread around the hair so that you can touch the hair again.

I'm so happy that you were able to laugh while sobbing!

I wonder, have you read the book "An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination"?

Peach said...

The tying up with string is a good idea. Just don't breathe while you do it ;)

You're amazing Jill. Just amazing.

Prayers and Hugs
Peach and Drummer

Jana A said...

That is so funny. And sad. I'm so crazy, I have some of our Charlie's hair in his scrapbook but also have some of it in our fire-safe. It's the only piece of his LIVING BREATHING body I have. If my house burns down and takes the scrapbook, I don't want it to be everything I have. I'm so sorry that happened but glad it has a funny ending (and that you have more hair). xoxo

Lisette said...

I don't know if I should cry or laugh! I have a piece of Sami's hair too that I cherish. I wish I had more (sigh).

The Porn Widow said...

I LOVE that you laughed at that! Since I've been following you, I've started having nightmares that my children are dieing. I woke up bawling the other night because I dreamed I was holding my dead daughter's hand and singing over her casket. I would never be as stong as you are and to know that you found the humor in a potentially traumatizing situation proves my point. Enjoy your laugh with your little guy. :)

Truthful Mommy said...

Honey,I can't imagine the emotions that you are experiencing.I would imagine it is somewhat of an outrageous roller coaster. I wish there was a way to take away this pain this void in your life and hurt in your heart.I don't think anyone will ever be able to do that for you.But one day,you will find a way to bear the pain.All my hugs and prayers go out to you,my friend!

CHD Fighter said...

Ohh Jill ... this makes me smile, laugh, and cry for you ... I actually can picture this happening ... the panic you must have felt thinking again he was slipping away ... I read this blog and said a prayer ... part of it is always for your family ... but this time I added "Please Lord let her vacuum that spot on her carpet and not dig through the vacuum trying to find more of his hair" :) I know I would be tempted to do so ... Innocence had no hair when she was born sleeping ... but if she had I'd be doing the exact same thing ... and I'd either never vacuum or dig through the vacuum ... prayers always your way!! <3

Bryanne said...

Beautifully written- so full of love! You made me laugh... and feel as if I was there with you, with baited breath to see what you would do! I know Joshua thinks his mama is such an awesome- and funny- lady! :) Love to you!! And I agree- let's continue to make all the memories we can... though not the way we wanted, they are still memories of/involving our sweet boys!

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