December 29, 2009

Losing Home

There is a profound sadness I feel when I realize how much has changed in the last six weeks. The loss of my job is minimal compared to the death of my mother. When I talk to others about the loss I think maybe I am not communicating effectively. It is difficult for me to fully express the depth of my loss while still sharing my understanding of the path. I have no doubt of my mom’s love for me. I have no doubt that I am strong and can move forward. I have no doubt of where she is. I have no doubt that she will always be with me. I have all the faith in God that I ever have. I simply miss her intensely and know that I will always have a void where she once was. I only had one mom.

Mom was always home to me. No matter where I was. Her home was the place I referred to as home. It has never been where I live. It was always at her house. When she moved from Heidenheimer to Holland nearly fifteen years ago, home moved, too. When mom died I felt that I lost my home. As if there was no longer a place for me. I have certainly established my own life and my own family, but mom was the adhesive for the aunts, uncles, siblings and grandchildren. I think she was home for all of us.

Packing her things and pouring through her life is upsetting. At the same time I feel sadness when I look at her belongings I also feel healing because I can feel her presence. I can see what her life was about. And it reaffirms her tremendous love of her family and her God.

It took several weeks but I finally found myself comfortable in her bedroom. She spent so much time in there over the last year. It felt too heartbreaking to spend time in there. But last week my son asked me if we could snuggle under the fuzzy blanket in her bed so I did. It is a long standing tradition in the Heller home that kids pile in bed with mom and dad. I remember having done it since I was a wee kid. It is the place many “remember when” stories are told. And I have carried the tradition on with my son. When visiting grandmother he would wake up in the morning and head for her room. In a few minutes everyone in the house would be in there. It was comforting to be there.

I am not ready to let go of home yet. One day I will be. I am just grateful that I don’t have to yet. Her physical house is still here and it still holds the memory of when it was home. In time I will move toward letting go. But not today. I intend to be here until it feels right not to be.

At home today.

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