28th Aug2011

The clothes she wore

by Dutchcloggie

Dead bodies do disgusting things. So I appreciate that the funeral home probably washed Jane’s PJs before they gave them back to me. There is a slight industrial smell to the t-shirt (no, I have not tried to smell her trousers) so even the last thing she wore does not smell of her.

She died wearing her favourite t-shirt. She wore it so much that I had to ask the friend who bought it to buy two more. So for her last few weeks, Jane was dressed in a NASA t-shirt virtually every day. I like that a lot now because it means I feel I am wearing part of her when I sleep in one of the NASA shirts. The third one has gone back to her friend, as a memento.

For 3 months, the clothes Jane died in have been sitting on the nightstand, next to the bed. The t-shirt lived on a pillow in the bed for a while but since it does not smell of Jane (in fact, it smells more of morgue & disinfectant), it now lives on the nightstand again.

I really want to wear the t-shirt. Not because she died in it, but because it was her favourite shirt. But because she died in it, I want to preserve whatever is left of her on it. Even though I know there is nothing left. I don’t want to contaminate the last thing I have that *might* just have some Jane-bits on it. All her other clothes have been washed when she was still in the hospice.

I don’t think I will ever be able to wear it. But what to do with it? It can not live next to the bed forever. Actually, why not? It is comforting in a way. But also might keep the idea alive that she could come back at some point.

But I can not yet wash them. Because once I wash them, it will be yet another trace of Jane that is being ereased from my life. Pretty soon, there will be nothing left that once felt her touch. Nothing that once caught her eye. Just me. And my memories.

And a NASA t-shirt.

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