Day 11: Altar

After Mabel’s wake, we invited people back to our house.  I took the photos we had displayed at the funeral home and placed them around our dining room- a central part of our home.  Those photos remain to this day and I’ve added trinkets and mementos that are of Mabel.  I’ve saved every single card I’ve been sent regarding her and they are stuffed into the wine cubicles on the server.  I often joke to those who I”m showing around the house.  “Here’s the kitchen, and this is the dining room, and this is my shrine…”  Most people don’t know whether to laugh or sigh.  I feel the need to admit to visitors that I understand that my alter to my daughter may be a lot for a newcomer and they might not know how to respond.  I try to add levity, but realize that is often lost on those who are not in the babyloss club.

Someday, I will move her photos to the shelves that contain all the other family photos, but I feel like moving them now sends some sort of message- to others, to Mabel and I’m not quite ready to send that message yet.


photo 2 (23) photo 1 (25)




4 thoughts on “Day 11: Altar

  1. I could have written this post word-for-word. I believe I’ll know when the right time comes to take down the shrine. Yet, I often wonder, will I ever be ready? I tell my husband we may live in this house the rest of our lives because I may never be ready. He just smiles because he knows it’s complete truth (and he hates packing)…

    • right? I remember moving a few photos (out of necessity) and thinking OMG, i cant imagine ever being ready to take them down. Maybe someday, I’ll move the shrine to a slightly different place. I just feel the further it gets from her birth, the less real it all seems and I dont want to forget. the shrine helps

  2. My mom does house cleaning and one of her clients lost their daughter to leukemia when she was 16 (14 years ago now). They still have what they refer to as a shrine to her. If it’s something that makes you happy to look at I see no reason to remove it.

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