We’ve all been there. The initial shock of death, the funeral, going home to the life you now live without them. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you also have no idea how lucky you are. Some of the most basic things, like walking through their house, become nostalgic and somehow a perfectly poetic reflection of what you have to go through.
1. The passage of time.
You notice how time passes so quickly, yet the calendar in the house hasn’t been flipped since that day. You think about how time is passing, but they aren’t living it. Time moves faster on the outside, but inside those childhood walls, time is frozen.
2. The urge to see what they saw.
Visiting my late grandmother’s house, I sat in her favorite seat most of the time. I could see where the condensation of her favorite gin and tonic rubbed into the arm of the chair, the pictures she stared at day after day, and the reflection of the front porch in the TV.
3. Wanting one last conversation.
You never asked the simple things that you wonder when it’s too late. You think about exactly what you would say and what you hope their responses will be. The thoughts range from if they would be proud of the person you are today to what their favorite movie was.
4. Wondering where they are.
The timeless million-dollar question. What happens when we pass away? Are they watching me right now? Heaven? What?
5. Remembering the last time you saw them in this house.
Thinking about the last time but all the other times too. Your favorite memory with them that happened right where you’re sitting now without them. While they’re six feet under. In my grandmother’s house, I thought about the hospice bed that replaced her living couch for a month. I thought about the time she told me that no matter what she would be at my wedding, and I replied that it would be at least ten years. She only made it two.
6. Realizing how lucky you are.
You had the honor and privilege to know and love someone who impacted your life. You had somebody who you loved and made it easy to miss them. The wonderful years and holidays you had to connect and create memories. You know that they aren’t going to be there anymore, and you’re finally coming to terms with it. Things won’t be the same, and that is OK.