“It’s just a house.” These delivered words, seemed so flippant. When I look back to all the places I have lived, there are a number of dwellings that served the sole purpose of providing me a place to rest my head at night. Those were just a house. As I moved through life, the places I lived became so much more. The walls of my first purchased home bore witness to countless firsts including first holidays, first child, first steps, first words,and first time we became a family of four. It was also the place where I suffered significant loss. I lived there when my dad passed, my grandma, and then my mom. It was in that house where I watched my marriage break and lost my sense of family.
Now, as I sit here about to make another house change, I’m overcome by the memories. For me, this house held hope for rebuilding a life, a family and a new set of firsts. This was the place Adam and I were merging our lives and had set big plans for a bright future together. Devastatingly, there was tragedy. On some days I’m still haunted by the visions of that fateful morning. This is the house where all of that hope was shattered. I spent a year in this house submerged in grief, picking up the shattered pieces and trying to find the light. Almost three long years later, my sons and I have managed to make this our home. We’ve filled it with laughter and magical moments, experienced struggles, and racked up a list of milestones. For us, this will also be the place we learned how to get up, overcome,and rebuild.
Nostalgia sweeps over. Fear of leaving memories behind creeps in. Waves of grief crash. Shutting the door and walking away mean saying goodbye and ending a chapter. This is always hard. It was not just a house. It is our home. Luckily our memories move with us. We carefully pack them away for safekeeping. This is not a forever goodbye. One day, in our new home, when the moment is right, we will take them out and share for all to enjoy.
Kim Libertini is all too familiar with grief and the Co-Founder of Goodgrief App, the social network for loss available for less than a latte, for download in the App Store, Google Play and www.goodgriefapp.com. You can follow Goodgrief App on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.