Monday, December 2, 2013

Losing Blake's Things

Five minutes away from the Long Island airport, I realized that I left him. I had done a mental check of all the usual things I tend to forget, (make up bag, check; charger, check; shoes I wore last night and kicked under the bed when I took them off, check) but he was so obvious that I forgot the extra security clearance. As I sat in the car, past the point of being able to go back, I stared into my bag in disbelief. I left Blake Bear at my grandma's house. Cue the flood of tears.
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.


  1. This made so much sense. As we hang on to these things like they are them, we are lying and depriving ourselves to feel their true existence and causing so much heart ache in the process. It is nice to have those tangible items. To have the rituals. To have the comfort of holding something we think we "need" because it has become the same habit that was our love for them. Holding bear subconsciously fills that void of being able to hold him and talk to him as you fall asleep. That is ok. The pain is still fresh and new and we havent conquered reality yet I believe. Sure you know Blake is there with you not matter what!!!! But here on Earth as humans we need to continue that habit and keep the tangible items close. That is all of them we have left on Earth, but they get to be with us every second, watching us and being with us from the afterlife. These items give us something to look at to see them, just like they are able to see us from heaven. Bear is very special. Sure he just an item and being without him might make you panic because you are missing that link that has become so important to you to connect to him. I have no doubt B is here and can see, talk, watch and guide you.. but dont deny yourself your connection and comfort thru Bear. I love your strength to be without him and still feel B, however dont be ashamed youve let a bear get you upset. Its simple things like that that will remind you his importance and give you the constant comfort you need. Our memories will last forever bur if you have something tangible for the moment, embrace it <3

    1. When I was writing this entry, I actually thought of you and the conversation we had about Dane's stuff. You handled it so gracefully when you said that people can have his things, but no one can ever take away your memories and the love that you shared. That's exactly right. You were so strong in that situation and it inspired me to be strong to.

      But I also appreciate you reminding me that we are only human, and as humans we sometimes need something physical to remind us of the unseen. Although I can feel Blake with me, I still crave validation in other forms. I love the bear he gave me, the sent of his cologne, the tshirts I wear to bed, our pictures in frames... all of it helps me. And that's ok! I know eventually I will be ok with these things not constantly surrounding me, but as of right now, you're right- we haven't conquered reality yet.