Do houses reflect the sadness of a loss?

When Leroy died, my neighbor told me every time she jogged by our house, she could feel the sadness moving through the air.  I didn’t know what to make of that until I felt it myself when I was walking around the corner passing a home where a very sick cancer patient had been struggling to live one more day. This particular day, as I walked by, I felt a difference around the house.  Maybe it was the extreme cold that had enveloped the area, but the trees looked more brittle than usual and the grass had faded.

Something had changed, or was it my imagination?

Over the weekend, on my same walking route, her head down and her steps heavy, I watched a sad and weeping wife approach: the news was not good.  The love of her life, they’d been together 54 years, had passed away.

Cancer had taken another victim.

Her heart in pieces, she poured out her grief, as we sat on the couch that had just been moved back into place in the living room.  For ten months, a hospital bed had transformed that room into a place where tender loving care pushed back the cancer for as long as possible.  I sat and listened to her talk about how they met, fell in love, moved from a small Italian town to build a life here in the United States.

A love story written over decades of life experiences.

Now the room was full of pain and sadness.  I shared with her, my own cancer story and I think it made a difference.  I wasn’t just a neighbor any more, I was someone who had walked that same path and really did understand how she was feeling.

As I closed the door behind me when I left, I hoped we had released some of the sorrow that was trapped inside.

It will take months, for this gentle woman to heal, even a little.  I’m sure I’ll know when that begins to happen.  The trees will bloom again, the grass will turn green and fresh, gentle Spring breezes will clear the air.

 

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