Sometimes we take “home” for granted. We say things like, “home is where the heart is”, “home is where you hang your hat”, “home is where you come from.” This, to me, signifies that ‘home’ is an intangible idea that means different things to different people.

Recently, I discovered I don’t know where my home is. Simply put, my other half passed away close to three years ago. My heart went with him. I have no physical location, as I decided to abandon ship when this happened and moved to my grandmother’s home in another state. Removing myself from the comforts of having family and friends close by. I did these things in the hope of finding myself again. Of feeling something other than dead inside.

Only recently have I felt like I was starting to wake up from this blanket of fog that descended upon my head. Loss is a fine line that we stand next to. You have either known it intimately or you feel like you can understand it. The truth is, that until you experience it, you can’t fully understand what it does to a person. We all react differently. We all grieve differently. We all lose and find ourselves differently. There is no timeline for these things, there is no written rule that is laid out to be followed.

No. When you lose yourself, the journey to finding yourself can be astoundingly difficult, At times feeling near impossible. It is hard to say how you will react until it is upon you. However, for me, I lost “home”, whatever that once meant, became an unknown factor. The problem is, I didn’t realize it until just now. Almost, three years later, when I am sitting in the backyard of my parents home (which once upon a time had been my home) and realizing that this doesn’t feel like home any longer.

The sun is shining, the birds are chattering to one another amongst the trees, a gentle breeze is blowing and there is green all around me. Yet, I feel like a visitor here. I feel sadly disconnected from this place at this moment and time. When did this stop being home?

I love this place. I love the river and trees. The green grass and the flowers in bloom. I love the fact that there are actual seasons, unlike the desert I moved to. The desert I grew up in. My first home. There is such a visual, auditorial and olfactory overload with the sights, sounds, and smells. My dogs love it too.

Yet, is there any difference between being here and somewhere else? Besides the obvious fact that my family is here? If I transplanted myself to another place that shared these aesthetics, would it be any different?

We find a home inside ourselves. We define home from the things we have experienced and the lessons we have learned. There is the home of our childhood, which is a place we generally can always go back to, though we may not necessarily want to go back. Then there is the home of our youth; the first place we lived and learned to grow without the constant watch and reach of our family. The place where we learned to stand on our own.

Then there is the home of our adulthood. It is this place of which I speak. The home we have connected our hearts to. The home that we often find when we are with someone else who shares our life and value. What happens when we lose this place? People aren’t interchangeable. We are all unique and different. Sure, you can find a home with someone else, but what if you don’t want to? Where do you find home? How do you find it?

Our life journeys are fraught with things we don’t expect to encounter. They are the peaks and valleys. They are the people who come and go. They are the places we visit. The things we do and see. Behind all this are our reasons for doing and going where we do. The journey, the search, for that safe haven. The place we find comfort and value. The search for where we belong. It is how we find home.

Originally published at on July 21, 2019.

Student of life; mother, widow, sister, daughter, friend. Writing, photographing and exploring the world around me. Rediscovering life.

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