I moved out of the rental in Maryland yesterday. Packed up the car, the dog, and the huge peace lily your Aunt Jane gave me along with all the other detritus from my life up there and started the long, slow, journey back to the lake.

I’ve never dreaded coming home like I do. Maybe it’s not dread, really. It’s a feeling I don’t think there’s a word for. A simultaneous feeling of wanting to go but not wanting to get there. An irresistible pull toward this place while feeling the knot in my stomach about my arrival. And it was every bit a hollow and lonely as I expected. The loneliness is physically painful and ever present.

When I finally crawled into bed, bone-tired from all the work of moving out and cleaning today, I hugged your pillow and breathed you in. Your essence still here but your you so frustratingly and unbearably far away and unreachable.

I miss you




I came back to the lake house today. I had knots in my stomach the whole way. I came back because I had to, but knew it would make it harder. And it did. Work left your golf clubs and lunch box on the front porch. That didn’t help much. Thinking about you telling me about the last time you got to use those clubs- with your new boss who took you to the fancy country club in Richmond where, for the first time in your life, you had a caddy. It was fun hearing you tell me about how you were ahead in the first 9 and what it was like to have a caddy. I remember thinking that you were one of those people who was so good at adapting to any situation. You made everyone believe you were in your element even when you weren’t. That caddy probably thought you had golfed with a caddy a thousand times. I’m sure Ryan will want your clubs- at least I hope so.

The house felt so empty without you. No hug. No kiss. No call ten minutes out to ask what I wanted to drink when I got here. No slumping on the couch to watch an episode of Scandal or House Hunters International. Just the nearly dead flowers you got me for Mother’s Day the day you died still sitting in the vase where I left them. And my unsigned Mother’s Day and birthday cards sitting on the counter. So many missing things replaced by one massive feeling of loneliness. Joylessness. I feel like white noise. Like blank space. An animate void- walking, talking, going through the motions of life without really feeling anything.

I don’t want to go downstairs. That image of you lying there lifeless. Not you anymore. Not us. Of taking off your ring and your hand slowly falling down by your side, so much like you were alive that I suddenly asked you if you could just wake up. I watched and waited, hoping insanely that you might take a big cleansing gasp and say it was all a mistake and you were ok.

But you didn’t. And tomorrow I have to start to deal with it for real. Until now, it’s been a holding pattern, but now I’m here. In our house, that’s now my house. And I have to take the first tiny step to making it real that you’re not here.

I miss you