Struck Home

For Christmas, I received a tea towel with the saying “there’s no place like home” on it, and when I saw towel lying there in the box, the saying really struck home.

Ever since Jeff died, even though I’ve always found a place to rest my head at night, I often felt homeless. He had been my home. Wherever the two of us were, that was home.

After he died, I went to stay at with my father. His house wasn’t the place where I’d grown up, and though I was comfortable at my father’s house, somehow it never felt like home. Although he mostly took care of himself, I had to always keep an ear out in case he needed me so I couldn’t completely relax, and even more than that, I was aware that those living arrangements were only temporary.

When I took my cross-country road trip, I felt at home in national parks and monuments. After all, as a citizen, those parks did belong to me, and the space where I pitched my tent especially was mine. Gradually, as the months passed, I learned to find home within myself, so that I felt at home no matter where I was, not just in a campground, but in a motel room or at a friend’s house.

When I returned from the trip, I lived in a series of rented rooms, rooms I was able to make my own, though I was always aware the house — and the rules — belonged to someone else.

Life has a way of taking unexpected turns, and now here I am in my own house. At home.

And I know for sure, there truly is no place like home.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

8 Responses to “Struck Home”

  1. Dennis Says:

    Home is where the heart is.

  2. rami ungar the writer Says:

    The best part is, you didn’t have to fight a wicked witch to find your home.

  3. Jo Says:

    I have so enjoyed all the post you have written during the holiday season most of them have really hit home for me. This is 3 Christmas Danny has been gone and it is still hard. Sometimes more now than the 1 as people have moved on and forget that maybe I haven’t. Not that I excepted them to hang out in my grief with me but don’t except me not to still be there.
    The post where great. Thank you so much for writing them.
    Happy new year

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Yeah, it is hard, and Christmas might always be hard even if other times get a little easier. And it is hard when everyone expects you to have forgotten the way they have. I’m glad I was able to help you get through the holidays. The posts help me, too. In fact, I was just thinking about that dinner with all the couples — even after ten years, that’s a problem. Wishing you a brighter new year.

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