Jelly Jars, Pickles and Tears

My parents live in another state so I call each morning just to check in and say hello.

We usually chat about what we have planned for the day, what we did the day before and share any important family updates.

Yesterday my dad mentioned that he had been to the grocery store, came home and when putting away the food he bought decided to clean out his refrigerator.  He joked that he found some things from years ago tucked in the back where they’d been forgotten.

I laughed and said, “Yeah-I did that sometime last summer.”

And then my heart froze as I remembered another fridge I cleaned out three years ago.

I went on to say, “I threw out all the old stuff except what I took out of Dom’s fridge when we cleaned his apartment.”

And then the tears broke loose.

I don’t know if it was Mother’s Day “hangover” or something else.

The full weight of the FACT that my son will never share a meal with me again, that the jars of food I saved still had his fingerprints on them, and that it is oh, so, so WRONG I had to clean out his apartment to begin with just fell on top of me and crushed my ability to stop the tears.

Papa asked me what was going through my head.

I told him I was thinking no mother should ever be saving old jars of pickles and jelly as some kind of keepsake of her child.  That this is a terrible burden and that even three years later it is just as heavy-although I am better able to carry it.

I am still surprised sometimes by what opens the floodgates.

I won’t be tossing those jars anytime soon.

memories tears



Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

9 thoughts on “Jelly Jars, Pickles and Tears”

  1. The Christmas before Luke died he gave me a bowl of my favourite body butter. He’d been really pleased with his find as I had been unable to get hold of it. As I was still using up another brand, it had remained there on the self until well after he had chosen to go on ahead. However, once it had been opened and used up I was unable to throw the bowl away. I have found another “cosmetic 🙂”use for it and even take it with me when I go away.

    I wonder how many non bereaved parents would even understand what we do?

    Sending love across the ocean Melanie ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just tossed the pickles that my son made and have been in the refrigerator. I couldn’t eat them and every time I opened the door it was a reminder that my canning “buddy” would never pack a jar of pickles or green beans or can tomatoes. These are the little things that send me spiraling back into the darkness of my grief. My son was 35 and we just passed the 2 year mark. How awful to mark time from the day my world imploded.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I so relate. My son and his family lived with us while building their house. He bought 2 boxes of cold brew tea while living here. After putting it in cabinet he decided it was the wrong kind. but left it in the cabinet. I never took the time to Throw them away either. So glad for that! Nice surprise to think of him when I see the boxes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My son was 15 when he drowned. It will be a year the 21st. I’m just now cleaning out his room. I wouldn’t have started that except my brother and his wife are coming to visit and that’s our extra bed. Some of his clothes were in the laundry hamper, still needing to be washed. I smelled his shirts and hugged them. Realizing I will never get to hold him again. That’s when the flood gates opened. Mother’s Day was the last “first” holiday I had to celebrate without him. I don’t know if it’s getting easier, or I’m depending more on God to comfort me more than ever before. He is true to His word.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Teri- I’m so sorry. And I wouldn’t wash his clothes. I didn’t think about saving some of my daughters’ dirty clothes when she died in August. I still have my bday, our sons’ bday, Lilli’a (our 16 yr old daughter who died from Ewing’s sarcoma) bday and the first anniversary of her death to get thru all the firsts. Hugs Kay

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You could put those dirty clothes or any others that have his smell in plastic bags to preserve the smell longer. I put all of my 19 yr old sons dirty clothes in them and it’s been almost two yrs July 23rd 💔 I’ll open it every once and awhile and they still have a strong scent. His work clothes have his natural scent and I’m thankful to have them. Hugs and love to you momma

      Liked by 1 person

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