essays grief and death

a leaving

May 14, 2014


Ten months ago, almost to the day, my wife passed away peacefully at home. This morning, I walked out of that home for the last time.

This was the place that Lee and I always dreamed we would build, one packed to the rafters with love and the happy minutiae of a life together. And it became just that, the foundation for the best parts of our lives together. It is where our children grew up and grew out, and where we put down roots in a community that felt absolutely right for each of us.

Of all the houses that I have lived, this was the one that I truly called home. A small part of me wanted to be in this place forever, if only to celebrate that time and preserve it for my children. But I also know that I cannot live in the service of the past, and that’s mostly what it would be.

Today’s leaving was as immeasurably sad as anything I have experienced in the past year; a sadness that came from deep inside me, from the bedrock upon which I am built. And yet, it was also freeing, as though another small weight had been lifted from my soul.

And as I walked through the rooms of the house, I smiled for the wonderful memories buried in those walls and shed some tears for the things that never were to be. And I stood in front of the beautiful gardens that Lee created and cherished, and wished the plants to stay strong and vibrant for the family that is entering this place.

leaving-home-gardenThere are good bones in this house, and the land beneath it breathes with an air of contentment that comes from the lives that inhabited this space. It is time for this place to bloom again, with laughter and love at its center. And it is time for me to leave, to move further into this new world that I am creating. Yes, there is sadness in leaving, but there is also much joy and love in my life. It is that which continues to propel me forward.


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  • Reply Marsha Vdovin May 14, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Much love Rick and here’s to the future. XO MV

  • Reply Deb Goldstein May 14, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Rick, I have to say that I got chocked up for you with this passage. However, your forward momentum is so clear in your sights. You have such a pure and honest perspective. Keep on it all.



  • Reply John LePage May 14, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Beautiful words and sentiments brother. It is sad that this chapter comes to a close. It is also joyous that this is also part of your new begining. I wish you all the best of this life and hope your life to come is as happy and full of love as the chapter that has closed.

  • Reply Rocky Montez-Carr May 14, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Good luck on all the new adventures Rick. I know she will be looking down on you smiling. Rocky

  • Reply Lynda Catlin May 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    This is what Lee wanted you to do ….she gave you the courage and is cheering you on…Lee was just that kind of person!

  • Reply Kris Koeller May 15, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Wonderful post. My condolences.

  • Reply Mike Rodriguez May 17, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Godspeed, my friend. Honored that I was able to share in the love & joy of your home for a couple little slices of time.

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