I found three blog posts today that I started writing at some point after Lizy passed away that I never finished. I decided I should finish them this week.
After Lizy died I was terrified to come home.
I didn’t want to face a house without her in it.
I didn’t want to face the room where it all started.
And I definitely never wanted to see those bunk beds again.
Paul offered to check us into a hotel.
But, I reminded myself that we do hard things, I knew I’d have to go home someday. I swallowed my fears and walked into the house.
It was very hard, but good too, good to face it, embrace it, and start to find a new normal.
After sleeping a while I walked upstairs to shower. I looked down the hall to where her bedroom was. Paul was planning on taking the beds down right away, but of course hadn’t had time yet.
It loomed there, gaping open at me, challenging me, daring me. I knew that if I put if off, it would just get worse. I would have to face it someday, I couldn’t avoid the room forever, and even with the beds gone it would be hard. They always say face your fears. So I did.
I walked in the room and everything looked so normal, and abnormal (some sweet friends had come and cleaned the house, so the bedroom which was never clean, was clean). I sat on her bed and held her favorite blanket and cried. But I had faced my fear and I decided the bunk beds could stay.
Of course I checked with Emily – did she want to stay in the same room? Did she want to sleep on the bunk beds. She said she was fine, but she wanted Dot to stay with her. I asked Dot again and again, “Are you sure?” I was worried, but encouraged when she decided to face her fears and stay in that room with those beds. Things were fine for a while.
I frequently debated my decision to keep things as they were – especially those beds. Then Dot came to me in tears. She’d been sleeping in that room, on those bunk beds, keeping Emily company and she was having nightmares. Horrible ones that gave even me chills.
I held her. We cried. The next morning the bunkbeds were down and I dumped them at Goodwill.
It felt SO good to be rid of them.
In some ways it was a little hard, but more freeing than hard.
Then we decided to paint. Turn it into a new place, special for the girls. My amazing Niece helped – in fact she did most of it because I was so busy chasing the boys.
We didn’t want to erase her memory, but we had to give the girls their own space where they wouldn’t be constantly bombarded by memories of Lizy and how she died.
I clenaed up her things in stages. First I gathered her belongings and lovingly put them in boxes. Then, when I could face things more, I organized them, separated them, put a few things out to remember her by.
It was hard, so very hard. But I knew that by putting it off I would just make things harder. I feel because I managed to find the courage to face my fears, the changes that were needed were more easily made.
The girls love their room. It’s the same room and they feel close to Lizy, but it is their own now too, painted, completely rearranged, a safe haven for them. Some day they may decide not to share, but for now the look at me in distress when I ask about splitting them up. It is good they want to be together, be there for each other. It warms my heart. This still fight, but they love sharing their room too. I love that they have each other.
I feel that facing those fears, as hard as they were, has made me stronger and given me the strength to continue to do hard things in the future.