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Empty. They are all empty now. All the rooms.

I don’t know how I survived packing up his stuff. I have been dreading this date, the date l have to put away his belongings of 10 years, one by one. His glasses, his treasure box, his shoes, his paintings, his trophies, his notes, his toys…How can I emotionally ready for this? Each item l put into the box, l feel like losing him again. So again and again, and again, until I realized he is truly, permanently gone, whether or not I save his shirts or pens, and that the irreplaceable things I possess are the memories.

I am exhausted and traumatized, as l expected.

Then I see the zip bag. In it there is his hair. Tears roll down my face, tears of overwhelming sadness, yet some comfort. Besides his ashes, l have other pieces from his body, his hair. Oh, how silly l was! Did I think if I have his hair tested for vitamins deficiency that those supplements can cure him? Oh how desperate and hopeless I was!

Now all the rooms are empty and I started to hear the echo of his sound, in each room.

“Mom, I’m home!”
“Mom, where is my glasses?”
“Mom, my stomach hurt.”

Then I started to hear the echo of me crying. I’m sorry I can’t save you. I’m so sorry. This world is just not your place. I’m sorry.

I flip over the album trying to find his photos in California. I’m glad I have so many while we lived there for 3 years. He was happy and healthy. I’ll be back looking for his presence, his sound, his smell, his sight, and his childhood.

I look at this photo of him when we were in a park in the Bay area. That smile, like a ray of sunshine in the darkest days. Those eyes. He came into this world with beautiful eyes to see all that is beautiful, embrace all that is joyful. He was looking down upon me, just like now.

I hear his echo again:

“Mom, hang in there.”

I will, my child, till the day I see you.