I’m not sure when I first started to discern the subtleties of my grief. For months, it was just an oppressive, one-dimensional blob. It was heavier than depression, a black hole that consumed everything – thoughts, energy, light. Any energy that did escape its pull was quickly spent trying to help other family members cope or in dealing with the myriad of financial, medical and other issues that needed attention in a reality I no longer recognized.
Even after I began to differentiate the facets of my grief, one of the most apparent still escaped me – that it wasn’t just Mona’s death over which I grieved, but the loss of our home as well.
As a kid, home was the place I’d rush back to all hot and sweaty summer evenings when there was just enough light left to find my way. The windows of our house were bright with light against the growing dark, and when you stepped inside, it always smelled good from that night’s supper. Everybody was home where they should be; everyone was safe from harm.
As I left for college, home was a place and parents I wanted to be away from. But deep down, I knew no matter how detached, hateful or rebellious I became, home was always there, my safety net as I ventured out into life.
Then home became Mona. Sure, that first little yellow bungalow in Oakley with its sagging foundation and dusty dirt road was wrapped up in my concept of home. [Read more…]