Thursday, February 11, 2010

What grief looks like at 16 months - Mel's Show & Tell

This is Peyton’s room.

It has been sixteen months since Peyton left this world, seventeen since she entered it, and eighteen since this room was created. Entire cycles of seasons, holidays, and milestones have passed, and yet, stuck on pause, both this room, and I, sit waiting.

Not much has changed about Peyton’s room. Nothing at all since her death.

Books wait to be read. Toys to be played with. Diaper creams and lotions now nearing their expiration date, sit below a changing table waiting to be used.

Piles of wrapped gifts remain untouched.

Her clothes from the hospital sit in a plastic bag by the dresser.

“They are toxic,” the nurses warned, made so by traces of chemo in her spit-up. "You have to take special care in washing them." 

This little bag has kept me up so many nights, panicked over what to do. Unwashed, the poison still remains. Washed, her scent of mint and milk is lost forever. 

When we put the finishing touches on this room, I sat in this chair, folding onesies, socks and blankets, while hubs hung shelves and pictures. I had never been so happy in all my life.

The last time I sat here, just days before Peyton was born, worry took hold of me, and floods of tears came. 

I flash back to that moment a lot, to the way panic gripped me. I had never been scared in my pregnancy. I never had a reason to be. I was a planner. I was healthy. I had everything under control. 

It came as a complete shock when through tears I told hubs how scared I suddenly felt. How worried I was that I would screw this up. That I might screw her up. That I wouldn’t be a good enough mother, love her enough or know what to do should something go wrong. 

“This is all normal,” he reassured me. “All new mothers probably feel this way. It’s okay.”

I think about that day a lot, about how inconsolable I became for seemingly no reason.

Did I know?
Did something deep inside me know?

The other day I ventured into this little yellow room, this room where nothing changes, this room that time forgot, and made a painful discovery. Dust.

Layers upon layers of dust so thick that I could write her name in them.

She is being lost to time. Covered up. Buried. Sprinkled in a muted veil as if the universe is trying to hide her existence. Trying, with all its might, to hide the ugly truth that things like this happen to beautiful little babies.

Some may think I am overreacting to something that could be wiped away with a rag, but to me it signifies so much more than that. I see the bigger picture. I understand what enough time will do to Peyton, that though she will always beat in my heart, with enough time, to the world, nature, the universe, she will be forgotten. 

To see what others are Showing and Telling, go here.


  1. By sharing her with us, you are making sure Peyton is never, ever forgotten.

  2. I don't have words except I am sorry.

  3. Oh honey....You are voicing exactly what kills me are expressing why I can't stop crying. . .why I can't stop screaming.

    The fact that time marches on so relentlessly...that impermanence is the only permanence there is.....oh god..... This is WHY I am feeling so lost. All of it is what I DON'T want. All of this is so beyond what I ever believed would be. Peyton. Simon. Alexander.....and so many others.




    Thinking of you sweet lady. Thinking of what is.

    wishing I could find a way to understand something that can not be understood to my satisfaction. Something, that even if it could be understood...could never be o.k. with me.



  4. I will never forget Peyton. You honor her in so many ways and are touching many hearts. xx

  5. A beautiful post. Thank you for sharing Peyton with us. By doing so, she lives on.

  6. Kristin, Your beautiful Peyton will never be forgotten. You are doing such a great job in keeping her spirit alive. Sending you a big (hug)).

  7. Oh Kristin, you spoke my hearts biggest fear today. She will be forgotten? Life will go on. Others will forget her. Will I forget too? How dare dust enter into such a sacred place! I have the same thought when I see ants crawling on her grave. How dare they! This is sacred ground. But to the them, to the dust, to the world, there doesn't seem to be any significance at all...

  8. I'm sorry that Peyton didn't come home to the room that you so lovingly prepared for her. It really is scary and hard to understand how time just keeps marching on, and how so much time has gone by.

    I read somewhere that people on die when they are no longer talked about, and that by talking about our loved ones and saying their name, they are living on. Thank you for sharing Peyton with us all.

  9. I remember sitting in the nursery, empty when Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander didnt come home from the hospital. It was agony. And that dust... That sign that life is moving on without us. But I promise you; I wont forget Peyton. Not at all. She will live on forever in my heart.

  10. Oh Kristin, it's not just dust. I understand how you feel like her memory is slipping away. What a beautiful nursery your created for her. She is incredibly loved. Thinking of you. xo

  11. Such a truthfully honest and touching post. Those feelings are so close to my heart as well and the dust is something that I thought of walking into Nolan's nursery last week. Everything is just so untouched and that speaks millions.
    Much love to you

  12. Ah Kristin, this just about broke my heart for you.

    We hadn't even begun to get ready for George and then suddenly he was gone and there was no sign in our house that he was expected, except for a few of my old books and some crocheted things my Grandma made for me before she died and many years before I'd even thought of George.

    You see I wanted what you have in these pictures, I wanted George to have left his footprints in our house, I wanted that dust. And now I see what you have... I don't know how you do it. Your heart must break anew each time you pass the door to that lovely nursery.

    Hugs sweet mama

    Always remembering Peyton with love


  13. yes, you knew.

    i knew too.

    i, too, have a room that sits with deep pockets of dust too. funny, before i read this i was sitting on the floor of that room just being.


    for the people that may forget peyton, there are 10 people that actually mean something to you that remember.

    hugs, kristin.

  14. This is so sad. I'm so sorry for your loss. I don't think that anyone knowing you will ever forget Peyton. I just don't have the words.

  15. What a beautiful room you made for Peyton. I'm so sorry. So sorry.

  16. Oh, Kristin. Those pictures are absolutely heartbroken. My heart is broken for you. I don't know why, but I wanted the nursery taken down right away. Of course, I didn't have any stuff except the big furniture and it hadn't had enough time to sink in and feel real to me. I really wish sometimes I had left it up. Hard either way.
    Like everyone above said, we are remembering Peyton. We think of her. We cherish her.
    We are missing her with you.
    Love to you

  17. You definitely are not overreacting. Dust is the very reason I avoid Ayden's room sometimes because I know it's there....and dust = time...seconds, minutes, hours, days, months that he has been gone and the length of time that our lives have stood still.

    It's just not fair.

  18. Holding you in my heart and just listening--because there are no good words.

  19. Although dust may seetle & cover up Peyton's beautiful room it can never cover up the impact she has made on me in my heart. I will carry your little girl's memory along side my daughter's for the rest of my life.

  20. That nursery is so full of love, then and now.

  21. It does look feel this room holds a sunny promise in spite of what's occurred... There is something here that a rearrangement or change will never take away, even if the rest of the world forgets Peyton, and I hope you know that.

    This post is perhaps one of the most real I have read in a long, long time. Grief: the real thing. The thing that many don't understand until they see it. And you turned it into the kind of art that others will understand when they see it.

  22. She lives in you .. through you. Till you are living and breathing ...she lives. Hugsssssssss.

  23. Peyton will never be forgotten. Know that without questioning it. Her spirit is still here, even if her body is not. Nobody can ever, ever take that away from you.

    It's strange, the physical things that are left behind. Recently I stood in front of my Dad's cupboard and wondered how the atoms of his clothing could still be with us, but the person they were for is not. It seems completely impossible.

    My mom read a book about loss and it said pick one item a week to deal with, because the entirety is too much. I still remember the day she phoned me and said, I put his razor away today. It was a huge, huge step for her.

    Thinking of you and sending love

  24. It makes me happy for you that you have a bag of clothes of hers, that smell like her.

    She will not be forgotten by those who love her and you.

    I hope our daughters are friends in heaven.

  25. I also fear that Gracie will be 'lost to time'. With so many of us working to keep our babies' memories and spirits alive, surely they will live on in each of us that loved them. Big hugs to you...

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  27. Oh.... so heartbreaking. (Hugs) to you. I won't forget your Peyton.