death

In memoriam: Nostalgia and mourning while unpacking

My cross-country move is done. The year is rapidly coming to an end. And, I still have to unpack and think through how I want to lay out my furniture, art work and belongings. This is quite a lot of work considering I own a lot of art and I have just downsized my house but not my belongings. I have been working feverishly the last three days trying to unpack and shop. And, think. Well, trying to think. I want to do my vision board for the coming year but have not been able to focus on it. Although, in some ways I have as unpacking does lead to reflection and consideration of materialism and our time on earth.

As I was unpacking, I looked for a special place for my mom’s urn as well as my dog’s urn. I surround my mom’s urn with pictures of us, a gift she gave me and travel mementos. I keep this layout from home to home to make sure she is always present. The same for my doggie. In the midst of unpacking and bubble wrap all over the floor, I sit to mourn and wonder what she would make of this latest move of mine.

While reflecting on the floor, I also sat and thought about the four people I know who died this year. One was a good friend who died way too young and too tragically. She had helped me adjust to Los Angeles and got me through tough times. I tried my best in tirn to help her but a rare cancer was just too much. She had just given birth. Then a long-standing colleague of mine died, seemingly overnight, from cancer. She had been posting on Facebook one day and the next she was in hospice. Her laughter silenced. I was shocked. Then my recent book chapter co-author died from cancer. He worked from the hospital bed on our remaining edits. I was saddened but also in awe. And, lastly a quirky, kind family friend died suddenly when his heart just stopped. His fabulous snark smothered and gone.

This year has been one of great change and sorrow. There have still been many laughs but there has been a bite. Perhaps this is why I watched so many films in the theatre or why I went ahead and made the grand decision to go back to my beloved New York. It provides me with much comfort just like a good key lime pie.

But as I reflect on these trying times, I am grateful to have met every single one of these individuals for once we are touched by someone we carry them forth with us. I am the sum of all my past interactions and it allows me to keep growing and becoming whole.

16 replies »

  1. My sympathy for your losses. I feel much the same about the people I have lost-I miss them every day, but the pain of losing them is more than offset by the blessing of knowing them. Good luck with your unpacking and organizing your new home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have sympathy for you losses as this past year was devastating to many of my friends also. Cancer is swiftly becoming the number one killer all over. 😭
    I am also sad to hear that we are no longer neighbors, but know how much you love New York. Here is wishing you a happy New Year and all the best in the year to come. ❤👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So much loss and heartache, I’m so sorry. But I admire your courage, the move is something you needed to do & I hope it can be a new chapter on your journey. Those people who you mourn will be carried with you, their imprint on your life will remain and you’ll go forward that little bit stronger for everything you’ve been through. Sending hugs your way  ♥
    Caz xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Seeing people around you die cannot help but make one introspective. I’m at an age where having friends and acquaintances pass away isn’t all that uncommon. You’re a bit young to experience that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry you lost so many close friends over such a short period. Glad you’ve moved back to NY, the place you had left your heart when you moved to LA. Hope 2019 is peaceful and happy for you and your little boy.

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