As we visit my mom-in-law’s empty house since her very recent, sudden death, her things are everywhere as one would expect. Mom (G) had a lot of things. She was not a hoarder, but had many decorations, knicknacks are everywhere and the walls are filled with photos, quilts and other hangings she made. There are signs that have funny sayings about wine and lovely quotes about family. The redecorating she did after my dad-in-law’s passing four years ago speaks to the new life she created after losing him. But as she took her last breath, the decor we recognize as well as our own home’s furnishings became memories.
We all know that things aren’t important. But like G, I love the objects I’ve chosen to surround me and I’m sure you do too. You get a very accurate idea of someone through their home. You would instantly understand who G was if you were to visit hers. She is everywhere.
And yet she is gone.
As I entered her house for the first time since she died, it immediately felt different. You may be thinking, “Of course it did.” But had I not known she had passed, I truly believe I would have sensed it. Everything was the same yet all had changed. Her collection of things remains, but the rooms may as well already be empty. Without her, Mom’s house is no longer a home.