When I got Liam’s personal effects back from the hospital I donned double gloves and a mask and stuffed everything that was in the plastic hospital bag into the washing machine; set to ‘boil’.
Hanging the clothes out was such a practiced act, until I came to the last piece. I could not figure it out. Confused I just stuck a peg on one end and then the other and stood back, looking at it quizzically. It then became clear to me that it was the T-shirt that had been cut off Liam when he was being put on a ventilator. This item is such an odd thing to return with a person’s personal effects. I know that many people will have been returned the same item and I think of how they will have had to process their reaction to this simple piece of clothing.