Knowing the tears it would bring I clicked the link anyway, praying to feel more peace than heartache. The photos loaded slowly onto the screen, each brimming with their own memories though a mere skeleton of what once was. It was all there, Grandma's house, though not as I remembered. The walls are now bare, no family pictures, grandchild artwork, beloved oil paintings. One by one the photos recalled pieces of my childhood, my history. There's the aptly named livng room where so much time was spent, second only to the backyard in hours spent growing up. There was the bedroom we played in, the single bathroom we fought over. The picture of the kitchen was the hardest to take in. In striking red and white it jogged the warmest memories and hurt my heart the most.
Grandpa is selling the house. Since Grandma died (almost exactly three years ago, wow...) the house has not felt like home. How could it without her? A part of me wishes I had the means to buy the house. After all it is the only home that has always been in the same place, occupied by the same people, full of the same love... my whole life it has been "Grandma & Grandpa's house" on the island.
I know this is one of those unavoidable aspects of life... saying goodbye to people and things that have always been there. I know Grandpa needs to do this and that if Grandma were still alive they would have been selling the house together to make that move they always dreamed about. I know that if I were to purchase the house it would not make anything better, only be a constant reminder of what once was and no longer can be. I know that I am still grieving and trying to heal without forgetting. I know I am not the only one who feels the loss so poignantly, or wishes for a Grandma bear-hug. I know that she is in Heaven, waiting for us to join her when it's our time.
Saying goodbye is hard, perhaps harder when unexpected.
Saying goodbye in pictures... perhaps a little easier.