Friday, December 4, 2009

Dear House, Goodbye...

Today is the one year anniversary of my mother's death. I wasn't going to revisit the subject after I wrote the tribute to her on her birthday, but then something came up. I am having a hard time letting go of things that belonged to my mother and that includes my childhood home. Unfortunately, because of the times, I am unable to keep the home in my family. This reality has been haunting me since my mother passed and my grief counselor feels that in order to experience closure it would be helpful to write a goodbye letter to the house. Writing a letter that would not be read felt like such a waste because in my mind, nothing is permanent until it is said out loud. That is why I have decided to share it with all of you.

(I've never written a goodbye letter and I have to say, it felt odd writing one to a house. I really hope this helps me, because it really feels nutty. )

Dear House,

I never thought the day would come when I would have to tell you goodbye, but now I must and it's more difficult than I ever imagined. You are one of the only tangible pieces of my childhood. Proof to me that happier, carefree times existed. You are the place my parents built together. The home that our family grew in, broke in, died in. I've spent the last year trying to find a way to keep you. But with times the way they are and my life pulling me farther away from the town I grew up in, there is just no way to make that a reality. So now I must let you go, though I worry I may always struggle to live with that decision.

Before I lock your doors for good, I would like to take a moment to thank you for all the years you gave me shelter. You are more than a house to me, more than a home too. You are like an extension of my mother and when she was alive, no other place felt as safe and warm. But now without her you sit like a ghost; vacant and cold. The more time passes, the more I realize that my need to keep you is a last attempt to hold on to my mother. A way to keep pretending that she'll come back to me. That's why I had to stop coming by as often. It just became to unhealthy for me to wallow in her absence, as I often did when I was with you. When mom first passed away, I came every week to lie down in the spot where they found her and collapse in piles of her clothing, that rested on the closet floor. I did anything to feel her presence and I wrapped feeling that spark of her, in being with you. I know now, that feeling closer to her has to come from within me. I can't allow my obsession with keeping you to continue hindering my ability to move forward and find closure anymore. I can't keep coming back to you, feeling like if I move slow enough through your halls that I might catch a glimpse of her. It's crazy...You are empty, she is gone and unless you magically gain the ability to pull heaven down, there is no more reason for me to come back.

Goodbye, House. I really hope that the years will be kind to you and that someday a new family can find joy and shelter within your walls. Please know that to me, you will always be home. I will miss you always, just as I will her. I love you both forever. Goodbye...



  1. That was sweet and moving, Jennie. I hope letting go of the house will help free you.