Today we finished clearing out Leah’s wardrobe of her clothes and footwear.
Certain items of sentimental value were picked out and placed in our Memory Box – her Girls Brigade hoodie, her LOST polo shirt, her favourite pyjamas while in Bristol, the extra pretty socks she wore to theatre in Bristol when they were removing her Central Line because she was critically ill with a “line infection” that was antibiotic resistant, the fleecy monkey poncho that so many admired, the dress she wore for the photo shoot with Nic a few weeks after her diagnosis, the top she wore on her first trip out of hospital after her transplant.
I encouraged Leah’s sisters and some others who were close to her, to pick out the items that they liked from Leah’s wardrobe for themselves.
Seeing people that Leah loved wearing her clothes, brings me far more comfort, than seeing those items gathering dust. The remaining items went to the N.I. Hospice Charity Shop.
There’s no timetable for grief, no right way or wrong way to remember our loved ones and to let go of personal possessions. Everyone has to find their own path through the sadness.
Paradoxically, Leah’s medicine drawer lies untouched. I still have a need to gaze into it on a regular basis and look at the many drugs that kept Leah alive after her transplant. The ‘innohep’ (tinzaparin) is the anticoagulant injections that I had to give Leah every morning. She used to wince at how cold my hands were.
The staff in Belfast City Hospital constantly complained that Bristol Hospital had discharged Leah home on ‘innohep’ as it’s apparently a drug they never use and they had to order it in especially. In Belfast they use enoxaparin/clexane.
The first couple of times it was quite a palaver to get the ‘innohep’, but our Teenage Cancer Nurse Specialist went to great lengths to try and smooth things out for us.
It might sound strange, but it brings a wry smile to my face to see the drug that was somewhat begrudged to us, lying unused in the drawer.
So many memories.