I Put On Her Jeans 

~ Brenda Golden

I put on Svnockv’s favorite jeans for the first time in

a long long time.  They fit perfectly except for the length,

which she had turned up at the bottom anyway. 

I remember right after she passed, I wore these jeans

with a safety pin on the side to take up the slack around

the waist.  Seven years.  Back then she stood beside me,

wearing these jeans, while at the Oklahoma State Capitol

to rally for justice for women incarcerated in the state prisons.  Hard to believe it has been that long already. 

Once someone I was dating in 2012 told me I just needed to get over it.  Get over it.  Ok.  Just act as if that hole in my heart where her presence lived is not empty.  Ok.  Get over the fact that I will never see her walking this earth, dancing around singing to her music blaring from the earbuds sitting in her ears.  Yeh…but never mind, see ya later, can’t do it.   

Now after seven years it is hard to imagine the sound of her voice, the boom of her laugh, the incredible smile and soulful eyes.  I try hard, closing my eyes even sometimes, telling myself to concentrate, concentrate, concentrate, “surely you can’t have forgotten,” I tell myself. Then I let the sadness roll over me that yes indeed, I have forgotten almost all of the sounds and smells that made up Svnockv.  And that the grief comes barreling in, its more than sadness and more than remorse that as a mother how dare I forget these important parts that made up my beautiful daughter.

That same someone told me he had unfriended a mutual friend of ours because that friend kept posting things about his dead sons and it was depressing.  This was at the same time he told me to get over it….of course.  It was depressing to him, so we need to get over it.   I wonder how many other people feel and act this way without giving it a second’s thought.  Hmmmmm….just get over it, it’s depressing……I hate to tell ya but there is no way “to get over it” when you lose a child.  NONE.  The best we do is learn to live with it and even sometimes that’s harder than words can describe.

We learn to adjust our lives to the fact that our dearly departed is no long going to do things with us, speak to us, laugh with us, cry with us, and make memories with us.  We learn to live with the pain of missing them every day.  We learn how not to cry at their favorite songs, their favorite singers, their favorite foods, their favorite actors, their favorite crush and yes when putting on their favorite jeans.  And we learn to keep moving forward one step at a time every day struggling sometimes to keep smiling and staying positive.  That’s the best we can do. 

And if me wearing these jeans without a safety pin is any indication of moving forward, well I guess I have pulled the pieces together without it for now.  Seven years ago, I was continually adjusting and pulling them up, covering up the safety pin with long blouses and shirts.  Today they and I are done adjusting to the loss and pulling from the bottom of my soul to make this change fit.  Today, just so everyone knows, the pain never stops even though the sadness is safely covered up with work, relationships, activism and attempts at social activities. 

I beat myself up that I can’t remember.   After seven years.  Imagine. 

Dedicated to all those parents who have experienced the passing of a child from this World to the Spirit World.