Constance’s hair was long, black, and the curls entwined like our roots and those of a tree together.
At the request of Constance’s father, we waited years to give Constance her first haircut. For him, there was some kind of religious and cultural significance to this.
The length made it time-consuming to condition and comb. Eventually, it grew to her bottom. The logistics of keeping it out of the toilet were too complex for a five-year-old, so I finally cut it.
The sound of the scissors startled her so, as quickly as I could, I cut across the length. It was so long when I cut it that we were able to donate the hair to Locks of Love. Locks of Love made them into a wig for a child with pediatric cancer. I kept one lock for myself and put it by her framed newborn foot prints.
After the cut, her beautiful black hair was still long and curly but it was far faster to maintain. As a result, she loved the change.
About a month later, I got the idea that I would cut myself some bangs. I seem to need to make this mistake once a decade. When Constance saw it, she screamed and cried. She was not one for unnecessary change. I immediately hid them under a severe side part. She preferred it.
The day Constance passed, the hospital offered us the hair they shaved off her head when they did emergency brain surgery. I asked that they keep it with her body so that it could be cremated with her. Constance loved her hair. She’d want to keep it. I already had a special lock of hair that had a positive memory.
The day of the funeral, I grabbed my hair and chopped off a dozen inches. It seemed the fastest way for it to be manageable. I remembered my beautiful baby girl and I cried. Why doesn’t anyone tell you a broken heart is a literal thing.