Saying Goodbye

I remember, after my grandmother died, my mother went back home to divvy up the inheritance with her siblings, and to clear out Big Mom’s house so that it could be sold.

When all the rooms were empty, she walked through one more time. We paused in the master bedroom and she told me, “My father died right over there. My mother died right here.”

That was all she said. That was all she needed to say. The weight of memory was heavy enough that words were not needed. I could feel her heart ache saying goodbye to that house, that bedroom.

What is it about physical places that hold such meaning for us? Us physical beings, who too often forget how tied to matter we are. What is this flood of emotion when returning to a much-loved spot, or when it is time to leave a long-loved home?

I lost my mother in this house. That is, she did not die in this house, but I was here, in my bedroom with my husband, when we got word that she had died. I will never forget that night, the crying, the ache, knowing we were still so far away and yet feeling her presence with us. I knew she was there. And I missed her already.

I can point to the spot I was sitting when I listened to my brother cry as he told me “mom died.” I went back into the bedroom to wake Taylor up, to tell him she was gone. We cried together in bed.

Of course, I can also point to the spot where I was sitting when the adoption agency called to tell us that Macia was born. Where my sister slept when she lived with us. I remember the feel of the floor under my feet when I danced with my husband late at night on our anniversary. We celebrated four here.

I will miss this house. This is the first place that I have really felt is home since high school; the place I have lived the longest in 12 years. I am bringing my real home with me–my husband and sweet daughter–but this house? I will never forget this house, and how it became our lovely home, site of so many memories and beginning of so many friendships.

It is so good to have been here, in Boston and in our house, for five years. What a blessed time. What a blessed place.




  1. Viv wrote:

    I’ll miss this home as well, seester. It’s been a home (literally and figuratively) to so many people in Boston. You loved it well and it was always a comforting place to be. BUT, I know that any house you make a home will be that way 🙂 I love you and will miss you!

  2. Caitlin E wrote:

    What a beautiful space! It’s apparent that you spent a lot of time and effort making it not just a house, but a home. Blessings on you 3 for your journey to a new home!

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