I wondered what I was going to do with Dani’s room after she died. Would I close the door and avoid it all together or keep it open and face the void each day. No one can predict what they might do, all anyone can do is what seems right for them when the time comes.
For me it’s been a slam dunk in the opposite direction I anticipated.
I thought I’d have to keep her door closed to avoid falling apart every time I walked past her room into ours, but not so. My heart insists that her door and window blinds be wide open so her room is lit, happy, and visible. She was so ill for so long that her room was dark and depressing. She slept and hurt continuously. I kept her room dark so she could rest.
Now, on the other hand, since she resides with God in His eternal light, a bright happy room is apropos.
A natural daily routine took root from the very start.
First thing in the morning after waking up, I go to her room and open the blinds. Her room sits this way till evening when I close her blinds at sunset. Since I don’t like her room dark, I turn on a scented warmer at her bedside. Soon the smell of warm vanilla fills the air. When I go to bed I turn off the little light and put up a baby gate so her door can remain open but the dogs can’t stop in for a sleep over.
On certain days I take a moment to sit on the edge of her bed, look around her room, and remember her precious life. All medical paraphernalia is now gone (it was the first to go) so only her favorite things remain. Her former dwelling is peppered with pinks, whites, stuffed animals, jewelry, pillows (we called them squeezers), and lots and lots of giraffes. She collected giraffes. They were unique like her.
Come with me.
Let’s take a tour.
“The Queen” pillow says it all.
She was our queen and serving her was a privilege.
(Below) Dani loved to turn her radio on and listen to our
Christian radio station KLJC.
Her pink tiered jewelry box is full of rings and bracelets.
They were her joy and delight. She was all girl.
(Below) My sister, Phyllis, drew this picture of Dani.
It’s a perfect reflection of when she was healthy and strong.
The frame glitters pink, Dani’s style.
(Below) This banner was hanging for Dani when she
returned to her day program after a long stint off ill.
Little did we know her return would only be for two weeks.
She was never able to return.
This giraffe collection is extensive but not complete.
More delicate giraffes reside in other areas of the house.
(Below) This scented light keeps her room lit at night till I head off to bed.
I often whisper into the air, “Good night my sweet baby girl.”
Navigating through grief is very personal. My way may not be yours and yours may not be mine but it is important. The pain of loss can destroy our life if we do not funnel it properly and I don’t do what I do with Dani’s room blindly. I’ve thought about why I go through these motions and have come to the conclusion that it feeds the need in me to tend to her. I know she doesn’t need me, God has all her needs met, but I still desire to care for her in some way. This is how I accomplish it at this stage in grief.
If you are in pain I pray you find your own way through the grief. I encourage you to honor your loved one however you need to but above all remember one thing, this is not our home. We were designed by Perfection for perfection. In heaven every tear will be wiped away and joy will be our new never-ending normal.
Until then keep your eyes on Christ, our maker and perfecter.
“I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.” ~ Revelation 21:3-5 (MSG)