A Safe Place

My grandpa owned a lake house my entire life. From what I hear, they found out my mom was pregnant with me the year they bought it. He’d be able to know exactly how long they had it just by looking at me. “25 years!” he’d proclaim (when I was 25).

The timing of them selling the house almost seemed serendipitous. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if they had had the responsibility of upkeep once his health started to deteriorate.

I’m pretty sure this was my last weekend spent at the house. We didn’t know when it would sell but we knew it might be our last trip when we were there back in 2014. I was emotional but it didn’t feel real. I wanted to cling to every piece of it. I took photos of every room. I remember thinking, after it sold, how weird it was that I’d never go there again. A place that felt so safe, that contained so many memories, would be inaccessible. In a way, I’d never want to visit that lake again. If I couldn’t be in the house, exactly as it always was, I wanted nothing to do with it.

When my grandpa died last year, it felt like that…times a million. It’s a feeling like no other. Something so impactful was taken from you, with warning. But you still feel blindsided. I wonder if anyone truly does feel closure.

A Consideration

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Comments (9)

  • I’m going to say no. Not when it’s regarding someone that you were close to and loved very much. You just get better at hiding the grief but it doesn’t ever really go away.

  • Aunt Jennie.

    Beautiful Allie. I miss him more than I ever thought possible. I see him in my sisters, in my nieces and nephews. Such a legacy he left. I talk to him a lot these days. Feel he hears me and it feels surreal.

  • Aunt Lynnie

    It still feels surreal. Like one day he will be there again. It was easy not to miss him in the beginning because I knew he was in a better painfree place. But now I miss him more than I ever thought possible. I miss his whistle. I miss his familiar gestures. I miss his saggy jeans and baseball caps. When I need him I know he’s here because every conversation we ever had is still with me and I can draw on his wisdom forever.

    • I love that. Thanks for sharing this, Aunt Lynnie. Memories are quite the blessing once someone is gone. I miss his scent!!

  • Charmaine

    This was a beautiful read, Allie. Sometimes, I read through your posts, and I realize that we’re more connected than we think. Grief is one of those shared experiences, and it’s ironic because we think it isolates us and makes us more alone than ever before.

    I lost my dad 4 years ago, and I still cry when I think of him. My mother-in-law also died unexpectedly last year. She died before my now-husband and I could tell her that we were getting married. I think about them every day. There is no such thing as closure when you love people so much. It’s such a beautiful thing, though… to love people so much that it aches to lose them. I’ve come to accept that with my dad and mother-in-law’s deaths, I’d lost a part of myself, and I’m okay with never getting it back. I’ve willingly opened up my hands to give them that piece of my love, so they can take it to wherever they’re going. It’s theirs now, not mine, and I’m okay with living the rest of my life with that hole in my heart.

    • This comment moved me to tears. Thank you for being willing to share your experiences and perspective. This is the first time that I’ve lost someone and thought of them every day since. I didn’t expect that (but it’s not surprising at all). I’m so sorry for both of your losses but so happy you love them so deeply.

      • Charmaine

        Sending you virtual hugs, Allie! I guess our minds are constantly trying to savor every taste of those memories. It’s as if it’s reminding us just how sweet they were when they happened and how sweet they still are in our memories.

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