The first thing that hit me when I opened Sorrel’s box of clothes was the sweet honey smell of baby skin. Her mother had washed all of the garments, but the baby essence had been powerfully imbued into her clothes. I opened the box and breathed deep. Sorrel was 19 months old when she died of a rare genetic disorder. I breathed deep and took several moments before reaching in and touching the cloth. I thought of her parents’ grief. I thought of her smiling face looking up at me as she lay in her car seat in my dining room when she was 1 year old. I thought of her deep blue eyes looking so peaceful.
As I began to take all of her soft cheerful clothes out of the box, I was surprised to feel little traces of joy emerging through the heaviness in my heart. Because the feeling felt so incongruous with the loss of an infant, I prodded myself to name where the lightness was coming from.
It didn’t take long to connect the joy with my memories of her. She exuded a peacefulness like no other child I have ever met.
And so, as I worked, I held on to those memories and her joyful spirit. It was a meditation.