Sunday, June 05, 2005

Cards and boxes

At the end of a life, no matter how short, everything comes down to cards and boxes.

People who will help you with your funeral business all give you cards. Friends and family all send you cards. There are cards in the flowers at the cemetery. There are memorial cards printed up as sort of funeral keepsakes.

The body goes in a box. The cards all go in a box. The memories are all boxed up, to be taken out and perused when you feel strong enough to face them.

It's an odd thing...the phenomenon of cards and boxes.


We got the "memory box" for Alex's things. It's a nice little box and I feel good that it's sitting in our living room so I can see it every time I walk through the house. It's a small box...for a short life. It's contents include: The "I'm a Big Brother" book we bought for Sam. Sam's baby rattle that he was going to give to Alex. A Denver Broncos sleeper that Alex was going to have his first picture taken in. Ultrasound pictures. The little picture frame my friend Holley gave me. The shell Alex was baptized with. The hat Alex wore in the hospital. The polaroids, footprints, cradle card, and ID bracelet from the hospital. The bow from the flowers Steve's work sent. The memorial cards from Alex's funeral. The pages the minister read from at Alex's funeral. The card from the flowers at Alex's grave. The certificates to inform us that family and friends made donations in Alex's memory.

That's it. We will be adding a few things in the coming days. The baby bracelet a friend is making for Alex. And an engraved spoon I ordered for Alex from Gerber (I got one for Sam and I'm getting one for Alex).

We opted to tie up the condolence cards with a ribbon and save that we could remind ourselves, on our dark and lonely days, how many people love us and Alex. There are so many that they wouldn't fit in the box.

Such a short life, but yet all the love won't fit in that little box.


lauralu said...

you are brave to make a memory box so soon. it took us three months to get down to it, but we were at least good and ready by then.

Catherine said...

Truth be told, I only wanted to do it now because I was so afraid one of us would spill something on one of our keepsakes and ruin it. I'd like to say I was afraid our three-year-old would do it, but I was actually afraid Steve or I would be the culprit. Neither one of us is very graceful. And as strange as I think the card custom is, those cards are important to me for some reason. Go figure.