my mom’s blue jacket (grief)

I pull out a box from the closet of my mom’s things. I am immediately stressed out to see her belongings. I know I can’t hold on to everything. My place is too small and having clutter freaks me out. It’s like her stuff speaks to me through the container and I want it gone.

I know people will judge and wonder how I could feel that way about my dead mother’s clothes. Her jackets from work with the etched “Yolanda” on the front pocket. She worked for a trucking company. I am much smaller than she was. They’re clothes I will never wear. Will anyone wear them even though some of them say her name? There are some nice warm jackets.

I take them out. I bring them to my face to smell them wondering if her scent will still be there. I reach inside the pocket to find a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. I take them out and smell them too.

The cigarette smell will always remind me of her. Especially after I smoke one and the scent lingers on my finger tips.

I inspect the blue jacket closely to find loose hairs of hers that had fallen. Years later and they’re still safely inside the fabric. I pluck them out and put them in a little jar. It feels weird to be doing this. Almost creepy. But they’re from her head! She was once here. She was real…


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