We had barely passed nine months since Lydia died. We had been toying with the idea of changing it for a while, especially in light of the possibility of a new baby somewhere down the line. I didn't want to bring a new baby into the house with Lydia's room still as her room. Also, my crafting stuff had kind of taken over the dining room, so it seemed like we were getting close to the time.
Then, my friend Lisa was crashing out our house for a couple days and said that if it were easier and she'd be more out of the way, she could just sleep on the couch in Lydia's room. I was unprepared for my reaction, which externally was no big deal but internally...wow. Inside it was all, "NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ONE CAN EVER STAY IN THERE. EVER. EVER. EVER. It is HER room!" While I know this reaction may be justified, it surprised me.
I got in bed that night, wrapped my arms around Micah and told him we needed to change her room. Soon. I could feel myself starting to hold on too tightly. It was the last thing...the last bits of her left and I knew that if we didn't do it soon, I wouldn't be able to let go. The further away we get from the time she was here, the less I can remember clearly. Things are getting hazy, and I know that's just the nature of loss, but when I went in her room, I could still remember things. As much as I wanted to hold on to that, I know myself well enough to know that I would make it into a shrine - a holy place where no one else could go. And I could not do that to myself, my husband or any other children we might one day be blessed to bring into our home.
So, that weekend we both had a three day weekend and knew we could get it done. We made a plan. He and I alone would take everything down on Friday night. Then on Saturday, we'd have people over to help us get the room painted and everything set up.
On Friday night, I decided to just let myself feel all the emotions of everything. I allowed in the wretchedness that comes with the remembrance of our hope that she'd grow up looking at these things to wash over me. I remember putting up the butterflies on the wall, thinking that when she was crying I could show them to her and let her pull them off the wall. I could picture her as a three year old, playing on the rug covered in toys. I imagined turning her crib into a toddler bed and calling it her "big-girl bed."
I let myself feel it all. And let me tell you, friends, it hurt. Deep into my soul, it hurt. But we did it.
I got up the next morning, and it was OK. We painted the walls and it was OK. We got the furniture up, and everything in its new place, and it was OK.
I brought back in some things that were in her room, so that all around me all the time I can remember her. Here are some pictures.