And So It Begins . . .

The real estate agent was here today, taking photos of the house and putting a lock box on the door. She was kind to me, understanding that it’s different for me than for my siblings. For them, selling the house is just a task to be completed or ignored. For me, it’s . . . well, it’s the first step into a whole new anchorless life.

Having anchors isn’t always good because anchors keep us trapped. But anchors also keep us grounded, connected. And I will no longer have an anchor. First Jeff (my life mate/soul mate) died, then my father (not that I was deeply connected to my father, but I did come to look after him after Jeff died, which gave my life an anchor), and now his house is being sold. All I have left will be a storage unit full of stuff. (And friends. I do have a lot of those, both online and offline.)

It feShipels at times as if I’ve stepped off a curb into empty space, and I’m sure that feeling will be even stronger in the days to come.

No one, including me, thinks the house will be on the market long. It’s too nice, too almost-new with a fantastic view. And it’s in a wonderful, quiet, safe neighborhood. The thought of a quick sale is good because I won’t be inconvenienced for very long by visiting realtors and buyers. (Should be interesting. They want me out of the house when lookers come. “Just take a short walk,” they said.) But then, after the house is sold . . . (here again are those ubiquitous ellipses signifying nothing!)

Yesterday I felt as if I were being punished for coming here to look after my father. Today I’ve gained a bit of equilibrium, though the tears I couldn’t stop shedding yesterday are still close to the surface.

Ah, those pesky tears! They make me feel like such a baby, but I’ve come to understand that most often my tears aren’t a result of self-pity. They are more of a reaction to the incomprehensible. And unfortunately, I keep running into emotionally unfathomable and intellectually inconceivable situations. In other words — life.

Not only am I losing my anchor, I’m feeling rudderless. (Weird that I’m using all these nautical clichés — me, who’s never been on a boat in my life except for a ferry once eons ago, and an amphibious vehicle a few years back). I’ve mostly finished my packing. Except for furniture and what I need for daily living, the house is empty.

I’m living out of tubs. In this case, “tub” is not some sort of nautical term, but is literal. I have small tubs for my personal items so that I can quickly scoop them off the bathroom countertop and stash them out of sight. Same with my dishes and computer accessories.

And so it begins, another transitional stage in my life.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

14 Responses to “And So It Begins . . .”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    I know how you feel, Pat. Just after your post last night, I realized that you and I are alike in a lot of ways. I’m also leaving school and my apartment in May, and I have ideas about what’ll happen, but it’s all up in the air, nothing’s certain but that I’m leaving one stage of my life and moving onto something new. We’ll both find out together what the next stages of our lives are, I guess. Hopefully mine’s a job and a new place, and yours is one of happiness, however you wish to define that.

  2. sumalama Says:

    Tears are cleansing. When you want to come to Oceanside, my tiny home is here for you.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Maybe I’ll come someday soon. I need to get rid of Jeff’s ashes first thing when I leave here. I’m only 122 miles from you, but oh, all that traffic!!

  3. Wanda Says:

    My grandson lives in Oceanside, he’s a Marine. If you ever need anything I can have a troop of able-bodied Marines at your beck and call. 😀

    The only constant thing in life is change.

    love ya girl

  4. Paula Kaye Says:

    I totally understand the tears! Hugs to you

  5. leesis Says:

    Ya know Pat Life does matter! And I think there’s something incredibly important about those times when we are standing on the edge of the abyss with no anchor, no rudder, no idea the why how what when. I think this is the time we must listen deeply…to our inner voice, to all that’s around us, to all we come across in our daily routine of whatever. It may be possible that you are feeling really crappy now because you’ve never stopped, stood as an empty vessel and just listened…waited and listened. We all need purpose and meaning and belonging. But mostly people fill themselves up with planning and doing stuff in order to avoid that place you are right now because its so uncomfortable. However those same people can be so unhappy because they haven’t stopped, haven’t listened but instead just followed, stuffed themselves with lots of ‘doing’ but very little true value. I hope this makes sense 🙂 xx

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I do think we rush to fill the void because it is hard to be so disconnected, but that’s why so many of us end up trapped in dead end jobs and dead end relationships. I’m willing to wait.

      As usual, you make great sense.

  6. Constance Says:

    Tears are good. It helps to eventually get inner peace. It relieves the stress that you are holding in.
    You shouldn’t have to put your things in tubs when the house is shown. Just left neatly in place. You should not have to leave either.
    Some of these realtors get a little ridiculous. People live in homes.

  7. Carol Louise Wilde Says:

    I wish you good luck with this – whatever that means.

  8. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    Hope the whole house selling thing goes well–as well as it can–and that you find a place that ends up feeling even more like home.

  9. mickeyhoffman Says:

    Without “attachment” we feel afraid, although the statement from Buddhism that “attachment is suffering” is also true. There doesn’t seem to be a natural, easy way to overcome the desire for attaching ourselves to a place, person or thing. Even atoms seek to attach themselves, except for a few like argon which don’t give a hoot what’s around them. Argon is called a “noble” gas. Interesting, that.

  10. Royann Behrmann Says:

    Pat, your strength is not being tough and hanging in there. Your strength is acknowledging your pain and working with it to create something lovely.

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