Walking away is not an option... dialogue must prevail.

"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."
- Kenneth A. Wells

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
- Helen Keller

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

who said you can never go home again

For a long time after Mom passed, it was excruciating to come back to her house. I don't really know how to explain it but I felt like I was trespassing. Even though it was the house I grew up in and Dad's home. In my eyes and heart, it was my mother's house... it was her home. Who was I to go through her things? To discard things she held dear?

I don't think everyone feels like this when they lose a parent, maybe they do, I don't know. And I don't ask anyone to understand it. I'm just telling you how it felt.

Finally, in the fall of last year, it started to feel like home again.

I spent a lot of time last summer seeing to Dad, making sure he had good meals, that things got done around the house.

I think that was when I started to ease back into it all. I came out of the grief induced fog.

Some days I felt like a lion tamer who goes into a cage of Bengal tigers for the first time... Now the only wild creatures in the house are the dogs.

The apple trees that blossomed every spring of my childhood have long been cut down, and somehow the backyard looks smaller to me now.

My perspective has changed.

I expect it's all a part of renewal, of new beginnings, of healing.

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."
-- John Lubbock


Turnbaby said...

I feel like that about my grandmother's house--still--even though it's been remodeled to a degree.

And there's another wild creature in the house--and I'm not talking about the Chicklet ;-)

Anndi said...

Turnbaby: *hugs*

I was at my uncle's funeral just over a week ago. It meant I had to drive through Mom's hometown. And on my way back home, I took a little detour and ended up on the cul-de-sac my grandparents lived on.

There are strangers living in their house. I don't like it.

There is? You don't say!;-p

Akelamalu said...

Dad moved into a smaller place in a different town when my Mum died. I was really upset at first because I felt as though he was leaving her behind, not so he took her with him. x

Anndi said...

akelamalu: We do take our loved ones with us... everywhere.

People cope with this in different ways. Either they insist on remaining with the physical reminders, or they want a clean slate.

In my life, I've done both.


Leighann said...

My grandmother passed away in 2004. Her house was sold to strangers via auction (per her request) I can't bring myself to go back there. Just driving by the road that lead to her house gives me goosebumps.

Whoever lives in that house now.... I don't like you. :)

Anndi said...

leighann: Know what I hate about the people who moved into my grandmother's house? They moved the candy dish.

Desert Songbird said...

It took me many, many years to discard some things my mother had given to me for my first apartment (e.g., cups, bowls, pans, etc.), even after I had long since gotten new "stuff." I thought that by letting go it meant I was letting her go. I feel differently now, but it took a long time.

Mimi Lenox said...

Anndi - You are doing fine but I know it must be hard. I still have both my parents but I remember how hard it was losing my grandparents. Seeing their things being shuffled through was tough. It seemed so disrespectful.

I love the fresh new feel of this site. Hugs.

Anndi said...

Songbird: My daughter and I both have kept some things that I'm fairly certain we'll never part with. And the rest of the things are now just that.. things. Her voice is still on the answering service, that one.. I haven't been able to erase, yet.


Mimi: I went through it as well when my uncle and my grandmother passed.
Baby steps...

Thank you for the compliment on the site.


Charles Gramlich said...

I remember the first time going back to the old house where I grew up, and how small the yard looked. Very good lesson on persepective.

buffalodickdy said...

As I have always lived in the same town my whole life, a few times a year, I will drive past the 4-5 places I have lived through my life... It usually stirs happy memories, not bad ones at all..

Anndi said...

Charles: Thank you. This year I got a good reminder of just how high the snow would pile up when I was a kid. I'd rather I hadn't LOL.

Buff: I still live in the same town I grew up in as well. The memories are all good also, though I do have a bittersweet moment every time I drive by the spot where my childhood church stood. It burned down a few years ago.

The hardest places are the ones in Mom's hometown... I was saddened to see that the corner convenience store where my grandfather took me to show me off and brag a bit is empty with a for rent sign. :(

Twyla said...

First of all, LOVE the new place!!!

My mom passed away almost 5 years ago now, and we still haven't gone through all of her things. We put them all in the attic and haven't looked at them since. Not sure if that's a good thing or not.

Slyde said...

still have both my parents thank goodness, but i felt this way about my grandmother, who pretty much raised me, after she passed.

CrystalChick said...

Both my parents have passed now... still with me, but just in another way. After Dad died a very bad thing happened. I lost my relationship with my sister. We were very close up to that point so it was strange that it happened so quickly when it was time to deal with the financial end of things. She bought my share of the house and we fought thru the whole process. And since settlement maybe 7 or 8 years ago I haven't been invited back. I pass the house a few times a week and they've added to it some but it's hard to see. I can only have the memories of youth. It's her home now.
We actually do speak when necessary for family dealings and it's civil, but the friendship is gone still and it's very hard. I know there's a reason it had to end but ...
okay, where was I going with this?? Using your comment box for my therapy session is not cool. LOL
Guess your page just was conforting or something?
Have a lovely day! :)

VE said...

When my grandfather died and my grandmother was going to move into a care facility, I went over to their house and videotaped everything; exactly as it was when I was a kid. It didn't mean much to me at the time but now its 12 years later and I am so glad I did that. After 12 years, I had some memories but not to the great detail that the video provides.

Anndi said...

Twyla: Thanks sweetie.

I still have a lot of boxes to go through... You'll get to them in your own time.

slyde: Cherish your parents, you just never know.
Grandmas rock don't they? I miss mine a lot.
My daughter was named after my maternal grandmother, I never got to meet her. She died when my mother and her siblings were still quite young.

crystalchick: You can use my comment section as therapy anytime you like. It makes me feel good to know that sharing my demons facilitates sharing in others.

I'm sorry about your parents sweetie. And yes, they are always with you.

I'm an only child but it seems a shame to let sisterhood go... my mother had wonderful sisters and watching them together was always amazing. When I miss her too much, I still have them.

Maybe someday the two of you will bridge the gap.


ve: That's a wonderful idea!

Angell said...

Oh honey - I cant' say I know exactly what you're going through. But when my grandparents had to sell their house about ten years ago it devestated me.

I can still see it in my mind's eye. Just before the final papers were signed, I went through, knowing that they were going to be remodeling anyway, and I stripped tiny pieces of some of the wallpaper from the room I stayed in when I was there, and the pool room, and the den I spent so much time in reading.

It still makes me cry to this day.

Anndi said...

Angell: Some things make goodbyes seem more final.

I found some old pictures of Mom as a young woman she had never shown me before. I wish I knew the stories behind them.


Lu' said...

My Mom passed January 1995, heart attack in her car, alone. I think of her every single day. I cried for her just last night.

Anndi said...

lu': She wasn't alone... her loved ones were with her in her heart... just as you still carry her in yours.

Meribah said...

You've taken a few steps towards healing. I'm glad. Hugs to you, Ann. :)

Anndi said...

meribah: a few... with a little help from my friends. Hugs