the week of thanksgiving i received a box in the mail from marta. she was returning all the items i sent her for cooper's book. i sent her a plethora of cards, emails, poems and pictures. but this was only about half of what we received in those weeks after coopers death. my precious husband and i went through all the cards and decided which ones we wanted to include in the book. those we chose all had special meaning to us for a variety of reasons.
at the time i did not throw away the ones that were not included, i put them back in the box i was keeping them in and returned it to the shelf, which is where they have remained. the question was what to do with all the stuff? one of the reasons we created the book was to have everything in one place and not have to have a box of sadness around. i wasn't comfortable with throwing them in the trash. and shredding them was too much work. so, the next logical thing that came to mind was to burn them.
which is exactly what we did sunday night. we burned probably 200 cards in our chimena in the back yard. it was cathartic. it felt good to watch the paper catch fire and turn to ash. it felt good not to have this box of sadness sitting in the closet. it felt like closure. and it felt like a weight was lifted.
the metal box is still in the closet, with coopers name on it, but it is filled with all the cards and notes i received with each member of cooper's flock that arrived on my doorstep. reminders of the love and support we have received. of the kindness of strangers. of sweet coopers legacy. and of how he has touched the lives of so many.