Redecorating Poppy’s room for Reuben was one of the hardest things I did last year. It was something I’d just put off and off. Probably until about this time last year when I finally plucked up the courage to do it. It needed to be done but I felt I was painting over all of the dreams I had with Poppy.
For Emily moving Poppy’s clothes out of the drawers and wardrobe was one of the hardest things she did while preparing for Reuben. For me it was redecorating her room. It felt wrong to do it in some ways. Painful mainly because she’d never see it, or enjoy it. Another reminder that we never got to bring her home. Despite it needing to be done it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. I don’t know if I’d have felt differently if we had been having another girl. Would that have felt strange? I don’t know.
Decorating Poppy’s room was something I had done on my own. Emily had gone on holiday with her Mum and I planned to paint the room and ended up completely decorating it with pictures, light fittings and even a pink rocking horse. It was Daddy’s job for Poppy, my little gift to her. It took a couple of days but it was complete. A summer day in June preparing for the birth of my daughter. Getting everything ready for her.
While decorating the room all I could thing about was all the memories we would make in her. All the nights rocking her in the chair, all the bed time stories we would read and all the tea parties we would have together. So many dreams, I was filled with excitement not aware of the heartbreak awaiting us a few months later.
After Poppy was born and transferred to Leeds, Emily had to stay at the hospital near home so we decided I’d come home and get some bits then head off to be with Poppy. I got home and went straight to Poppy’s room and just sat in the rocking chair. Exhausted, emotional and just in shock at what had happened, the happiest moment of seeing my daughter born had been swept up to a hurricane. Never did I expect to be sat in her room without her in my arms. I felt close to Poppy in this room while I got out some more little clothes for her. Thinking positive that within a few days we’d all be bak home. Flicking the light out that night I never thought that the light was about to fade away from all these hopes and dreams we had for Poppy and us.
After Poppy died we got my Mum and Emily’s aunt to go home and put everything baby in Poppy’s room and just close the door. We just couldn’t see it all. Reminders of what should have been. Reminders of what we had lost. Reminders of broken dreams. Just walking past the closed door was tough. The door had slammed shut on our dreams with Poppy, the door had closed on emotion. Shock just stood there.
Slowly though we opened the door, never daring to step foot in there. Until one night when feeling sad I went and sat in there. I felt close to Poppy. This was her room and being in here made we feel like I was with her. It was the closest I could ever be to her again. This room became so special. While it hurt to see all the things I’d done in her that she would never see, it was our place.
As the days and weeks after Poppy died came and went her room became a solace. A place to go to feel close to her. When a wave of emotion hit Poppy’s room eased the wave. At night I’d go and sit in the rocking chair, drawing or writing. Stars shining through the window, twinkling away. A sign from Poppy saying hello. Is heaven a hole in the sky, are the stars cracks in the ceiling of night. I watch the stars, a twinkling star is a sign you are alright. Wherever you are watching over us a sign makes us know you are ok.
When we found out that Emily was pregnant with Reuben the thought of having to redecorate Poppy’s room filled me with dread. How could I change her room. It felt like the last piece of her that was still here with me. I couldn’t let go. It seemed that I would never stop losing Poppy. In every corner of her room where memories that would never be made. Hopes and dreams made up this room and I just couldn’t let go.
Poppy would want to share her room with her little brother though. It will forever be her room but it is now their room. Painting over all the hopes and dreams was hard. Tears flowed at times while paint dripped down the walls. However sad and hard it was to do, it was equally something nice to do for Reuben, Poppy wanted us to do things for him too. Different pictures were put up to make parts of the room special for Reuben. I’d created a little ballon and clouds design on one wall for Poppy and while that was hard to removed I created a similar one for Roo. Planets and a rocket, for my little Star-Lord.
We are now going to put Reuben into the bigger spare room so he has more space to play and grow. Poppy’s room while become a little snug, covered in memories of her. While letting go is so hard it needs to happen. Time passes and things change but memories will always remain. The memories of doing up Poppy’s room will always be looked back fondly. It just breaks my heart she’ll never see it.