All the information I share comes from my life experiences-things I've learnt on how to live a healthier life that has worked for me.
Hiraeth is a Welsh word for homesickness or nostalgia, an earnest longing or desire, or a sense of regret.
The phrase “let it go” used to really annoy me and if I think about it, it still does! Over time, I realized that the reason letting go was never easy was because I did not know how to or what it meant to.
Over the years, my life has taken me through so many ups and downs where I was forced to accept things I never thought I would have to, and just let go.
Different people handle things differently and letting go of things or people, is never easy for some of us.
When you feel connected, attached, and have invested years into a person or a home, how do you let go?
The loss of a loved one, the end of a friendship, the end of a relationship or marriage, the demolition of a home - these things can really change you. It’s hard living with these things that randomly come back to haunt you sometimes. You go through denial, anger, depression, and acceptance which is one hell of a journey to go through. You don't let it go; you deal with it.
One of those losses that I remember very clearly happened just last year – the loss of a home.
Back in India, my parents had an apartment that they worked on for 2 years, looking into every detail to make it a beautiful home they retired to. The 360 view of the river and the coconut trees, the warmth and love you felt the moment you set foot in our home was so magical for my sister and me, that a trip back home was something we always looked forward to. I remember how we used to tell our parents that when we were coming home for the holidays, we just wanted to spend time at home and not really step out. Serene, peaceful, warm are just a few words that I can use to describe what was our home sweet home. My Dad sitting on the balcony in his favorite chair, Mum cooking away our favorite food, my sister and I playing cards with our Grandpa and our cousins when they were down, was literally the scene every vacation back home.
We had that home for 10 years before we were forced to vacate because of some issues and laws that were violated 10 years ago by the builders. It was painful to watch what all the owners including what my parents had to go through to try and keep their homes. Unfortunately, despite all the legal battles, it all came to an end and was demolished last year.
That was our home and we did nothing wrong but were forced out of it. How do you deal with a loss like that? I remember not being able to be back home with my family when all this was happening, it was heart-breaking to hear the news, see pictures and watch the demolition on television like it was some show!
I think the worst feeling to deal with, is when you feel helpless. You feel this excruciating pain within you that you can only deal with in silence until you become totally numb to it. When you watch your favorite place in the world, your home crumble in front of your eyes – you go through a flashback as if your life were coming to an end. All those memories, all those moments will always be cherished sure, but again you are forced to deal with a mix of emotions that you keep spiraling into until you finally just must accept it. You are left with that longing of how things were or used to be, where the only memories you have are the ones you remember and the photographs you hold on to. No longer will I sit on that swing that faced the river and all the coconut trees, no longer will I watch my Mum write the date of our every visit home on her kitchen wall, no longer will any other place feel the same, though for me, home will always be wherever the love of my family is.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?
There are things we hold very dear to us and to be honest, every step of the way I have heard people use the phrase “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, I’m sorry, I disagree. Faith, hope and the love of my family and few close friends have been my biggest pillars of strength. I feel blessed to have gone through all that I have, to still have a family and home which is wherever we are when we are together.
I pray that God gives us the strength to move forward, where we can hopefully look back at the past cherishing the good times, rather than it be painful memories.
For all those who have suffered through hardships and found it difficult to deal with losses, take your time to heal and do it however best you can. We are all different, some of us may rely on our loved ones, some of us may choose to deal with it in stages or some of us may just withdraw to be on our own. Let no one tell you to just let it go, you will heal in your own time however short or long that may be.
I leave you with this, one of my favorite quotes that has made sense to me at many stages in my life and till date holds true:
“They say ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, I don’t agree. Some things that didn’t kill me, came so close that they’re damaging. They didn’t make me better. Some things made me worse. And can’t that be ok too? Can’t some things just break you? The whole world wants you to believe that admitting defeat makes you weak. For God’s sake, bleed. And bleed openly. There can be pride in vulnerability. Honesty is maturity. And really, it’s the things that did kill me, that made me”. -J. Raymond
asereht1970 from Philippines on June 16, 2020:
Hello there! Thank you for sharing your story. I love the way you write and how you describe things. reading your article made me feel as if I was there, too.
Mitchelle Peter (author) from Dubai, U.A.E on June 16, 2020:
@Liza: Thank you so much! Home is where the heart is :)
@Flourish: Thank you! I am so sorry you had to go through that, but what matters is everyone was safe. Sorry to hear the loss your sister had to go through, that couldnt have been easy at all. May God bless her and your family abundantly! Stay safe :)
FlourishAnyway from USA on June 15, 2020:
Thank you for sharing your story of loss. I hope you and your family have a comfortable place to be together in love even though it is not the same as the lovely home you lived in for so many years. The home I spent much of my growing up years in burned up just after I graduated from college so in a way I can understand. My parents rebuilt but it always felt “off.”
I agree with you about the quote. Some people have things they just don’t get over. My sister, for example, will never get over her stillborn baby. One can pick up and try to keep going but will always be more fragile or worn from the experience.
Liza from USA on June 15, 2020:
Thanks for sharing your story, Mitchelle. It was heartbreaking to hear what had happened to your family's house. There no place like home. I have the same feeling after I move to a new place/country. I cherish my childhood memories with my siblings and my parents. However, I can't imagine things that happened to your family. I wish you all the best, and God bless you all.