Home, the house I grew up in. The house that belonged to my paternal grandparents before it was my mum and dads. Home, still today it is home and it will long be in the future. No longer my home, but my brothers families home. There is something very comforting in knowing that our family will remain in the house that has brought us so much joy, but also so many tears these last months.
Today I walked back in to our home, left as it was in January, when my sister in law and I took down the Christmas decorations. I walked past mums coat in the lobby and her snow boots by the door and for the last time walked in to the sitting room as it would be forever engraved in to my heart and mind.
Together we starting the hard task of removing the minutiae of everyday life. The calender that will forever be on December, the bus pass and the small notes in my mothers hand writing.
We laughed and cried was we sorted, filed, re homed and discarded all that grounded me. I learned how to operate mums answer machine to remove all the old messages and my heart dropped as I heard my boys wishing Grandma a Happy Christmas.
There were things that I didn’t dear hold on to for fear of never being able to let go of them and things that seemed so out of place without mum there.
Each item made me want to cry out, to turn back time and to be able to squeeze mum a little tighter, to feel her breath on my cheek, to hear her tell me she loved me and that she was proud of me one last time. I ache with a longing that is as much physical as it is mental.
Nothing prepares you for the loss of your only parent, no one tells you just how unsettling it is not to have the people who you have relied on throughout your life. I am all at sea.
Later this evening, MadDad and my father in law brought a small part of my mum in to our home. We have her sideboard and display cabinet in our dinning room. Over the coming weeks, I am going to fill the cabinet with small memento of my mum and my childhood and I have placed my first one in all on its own. A dusty bin money box.
Tonight as I go to bed I am going to hold on tight to my man and be thankful for the family I have left and try to find an anchor and to learn to be the matriarch of the family. No longer a daughter.