In the midst of grief there is always a job to do. In divorce there are legal issues and settlement and visitation. In death, the affairs of a person’s life must be put in order; personal effects must be handled. In reunification there are also those things—the needful. We’ve done a lot of the hard stuff: preparing him as much as is possible with a four-year old; figuring out what things to send with him; and finally transporting the little guy and his possessions to his new life. Now comes the rest.
In life, especially one like ours, there isn’t much time to wither or get stuck in sorrow. It isn’t that we don’t take the time to grieve; we have; we do. We stop and share our particular hurtful moments of the day. Often there are tears, or exasperation about how unfair it all is to all of us. Weekends are the hardest. But life is carrying us blindly along. We are being thrust forward by our jobs and plans for the summer and the development of our son who is about to blossom into full-blown toddler-hood.
There are also the things that we continue to put in order. I have begun to store those things that we no longer need or at least won’t need until Lucas is a little older—the toddler car seat, the step-stool in the bathroom. There is one big thing though that I don’t think either of us will be able to deal with—our foster son’s room. It has become this museum where once lived this vibrant and amazing little boy. Sometimes the door is left open and sometimes I have to go in there. I rummaged through the drawers of his dresser yesterday looking for something. It all felt wrong—wrong that he was no longer here—wrong that his room is completely untouched—that many of his things are still there. The sheets are still on the bed.
At some point Lucas will graduate from the small baby’s room that he’s currently in, to our foster son’s big-boy room. I’ve wondered if we will need to repaint or change the rug or get rid of the bookcase or dresser. But even that, slapping paint over what once was, seems incredibly sad. I want to feel good again and know that I will. I want to sit with Lucas in his room and remember when it was our foster son’s and not hurt about it so much. I think that while it might be hard initially, that keeping his room just like it is, will be a testament to his life with us. There will be the same happy moments with Baby Lucas in that room as there ever was with T. There is a way forward. Life will not allow us to sit idle.