|The picture I sent to Blake on May 28th at 12:57 AM|
to show him I was sleeping with the bear he bought me.
This was unknowingly sent right after he passed away
I've mentioned Blake Bear before, but never his vital place in my life. He was my last gift from Blake, which alone would make him special enough. But not only did I sleep with him the whole last week I was with Blake, he has been my constant companion ever since since then. Although I don't hide him in my purse and take him with me during the day anymore, holding him is the only way I can convince myself to fall asleep. I clutch him close to my heart and wake up the exact same way.
In the past 193 days, I have only slept without Blake Bear twice. The first time was at the end of August, when I accidentally fell asleep on my best friend's couch after my first truly happy night out. And the second was in September, when I decided to spend the night at a hotel with my parents instead of driving back to my house. When I realized tonight would have to be the third and tomorrow potentially the fourth, I had a breakdown.
I evaluated the situation in my mind as rationally as I could. I was a 25 year old woman crying over a teddy bear. And if that didn't seem silly enough, I also reminded myself that this stuffed animal wasn't even lost. I knew exactly where it was and could have someone mail it to me in the next day or two. I went over these facts again and again in my mind, trying to reason myself out of my panic. There was actually nothing to be upset over. I made it through nights without it before, I can do it again.
As I started to calm down, I realized a deeper message in all of this. The most concerning thing wasn't that I worked myself up over an object, but that I even gave an object that much power over me in the first place. I understand that the sentimental value attached to material things holds significant weight for me and many people, but does it need to? Are our "things" essential representations of our memories and love? If I woke up tomorrow and all of the jewelry, clothing, cards, cologne, and pictures that I surround myself with to feel closer to Blake disappeared, would I still feel connected to him? After getting over the initial shock of loss, I'm positive I would answer "Absolutely."
In my purest moments of connection with Blake, it's just him and me and the feeling I get deep in my heart. Although it's always nice to smell the scent of his cologne, hear his laugh in our videos, or hug the Blake Bear he gave me, I don't need any of those things. What I feel in my heart is enough to let me know he's still with me, regardless of any object I have to remember him by. He isn't in them, he's in me. When I think about it this way, the trauma of grief seems unnecessary. This way of thinking reveals that nothing is ever really lost. Since true attachment is tied to the heart, we carry our love ones wherever we go. There is no such thing as separation when there is love.
I already know that tonight without Blake Bear will be hard. There's a possibility that I may not be able to sleep at all. But I will not think for one second that just because I don't have the bear, I've lost my connection to Blake. Although my material representations of him and our love aid in our connection, they are not the connection themselves. Eventually, I hope to get to the point where I'm beyond the need for physical reminders and can rely on just the signals I get from within. But for now, I'll continue to remind myself that Blake is not separated from me just because the bear is. And I'll wait patiently for the package to arrive.