A box was delivered to my doorstep on Monday.
I was expecting it. Maybe I was even looking forward to it a little.
What I was not expecting was my reaction to it.
I saw it when I pulled into my driveway and felt a pit in my stomach. Nick took it inside, asked me what it was and I shrugged it off.
I picked it up to move it off the table and didn’t touch it again. I didn’t open it, just left it there.
Let me explain why this is weird.
I am the annoying person who tracks their packages from shipment to doorstep. If I don’t have a tracking number, I put the expected delivery date on my calendar so I don’t forget. Yeah. I’m that girl.
This time, I put the package out of my mind. Intentionally turned away every thought of it that came up.
With how this is sounding you’d think it was the box from the end of Seven…
When I get any other package, I open it immediately like it’s Christmas.
I do not feel like celebrating this one.
This package is more than a box FedEx had in their truck for a week.
This box holds a piece of a person I love – the only belongings I might ever receive of his.
A watch and an old OSU t shirt.
I have them now only because my cousin is incredibly generous.
This is a glimpse into the painful experience that was (and is) my brother’s passing.
I am estranged from my mother – the keeper of his things. I have seen others receive items – I have not.
This box carries grief. It is a tangible reality I push away by reflex.
It is a reality I must accept. His life on this earth has ended.
The items he owned are being distributed all over the country – a tribute to all the lives he touched.
I am eternally grateful to my cousin for sharing his portion with me.
I am terrified to open this box and simultaneously reopen my wounded heart.
Not having his things has allowed me to maintain a small level of “out of sight, out of mind” with this grief.
This will go away and my buddy will still be gone.
That cannot be avoided forever.
Neither can this box.