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.

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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.