Mom died three days ago. I think in other cultures there would be some formalized grieving process still taking place to occupy and support the mourners. But instead of chanting, sitting shiva, prostrating or staying in bed all day, my sister and I have started to go through her clothes. It feels good, running my hands through the fabric that so recently touched her skin. Mom wasn’t one to keep clothes for years on end (except, bewilderingly, a dress I wore to my eighth grade graduation ceremony), but I’m still flooded with memories when I go through her things.
The shawl she wore to her last birthday dinner
The dress she wore to my wedding
The favorite necklace she purchased in San Antonio
I’ve picked out many articles of her clothing that I’d like to keep, and I feel closer to her when I wear them. But of course, this going-through-the-clothing business is also hard work, and I feel fatigued in a way that sleeping more simply cannot remedy. Way tired, deep down inside.