About 3.5 years ago, we bought a cabin about two hours north of our house. The setting is rustic, green, backed by a river, nice.
You see, summers here are not just crazy hot, they are also crazy long. At that point, we’ve had enough of indoor play spaces and outdoor splash pads, and we desperately wanted the girls to grow up with a more intimate relationship to nature. So, we invested some time into looking for a cabin, not too far from our home (or we won’t spend enough time there, or go there often enough). We found a fixer-upper that we had to have, because there was a river behind it.
We loved it. We went up almost every weekend, and spent wonderful time there exploring the surrounds, hiking, seeking out water-holes, discovering the area’s inhabitants, making friends with bugs, picking apples from our yard… we made friends with our neighbors and we invited friends up to spend time with us.
Once we talked about moving away one day and what we ought to do with the cabin. And me, being the heartless one, said we ought to sell it, but R refused. He said it took us a long time to find this place. Even if there’s always a possibility that we one day move to another continent, we should keep it. We could come back and visit, use it as our vacation home or the girls could even inherit it one day. Just imagine them bringing their kids here one day and telling them about their childhood, R said.
But, we have been using the cabin less and less. And this past weekend, we visited the issue again. R lamented that we are not using the cabin enough, making it a $1000-per-use cabin based on what we pay for it. I got defensive. I said, “Well, when we got it, we used it a whole lot, almost every week. But… after some time, that stopped. I think life just got busy, the girls got more activities and maybe the novelty has worn off…”
R stopped me, and said, “You know what it was…”
“You know what it was- Ferdinand.”
I blinked again, feeling moisture rushing out.
“We don’t need to talk around this, Janis. Ferdinand’s death just killed it for us.”
Since he died, I have been reluctant to go to the cabin. Too many memories. I still love it, for the quiet, for the nature, the beauty, the escape. Only the memories and the pain will never escape. R had been pushing me to go up. I will find excuses not to go, but he will drag us all up. But the length of stay got shorter and shorter. Two days used to be way too short for us, and we’ll make it a long weekend, or plans to stay a week when R managed to take time off. These days we usu drive up Saturday morning and come home Sunday after lunch.
Too many memories for us. Of course, it surprised me again. I know of course that Ferdinand’s death affected R deeply, but he was the one who kept pushing for us to go up to the cabin. Perhaps an attempt to overcome what had crippled us.
But it is just not working.
After a long, emotional talk, we decided we will be contacting a realtor to put our cabin on the market. If the realtor thinks we can rent it out in its current state, then we will. If not, we will sell it as is. (And I hope this happens fast, and soon.)The yard was good enough for sledding when it snowed! (This picture of me and S taken when I was pregnant with Ferdinand, by the creek behind our cabin.)
The thing is, even if we cut ties with this cabin that we so loved (and still do, but different), what had happened will not change. The memories remain with us. Perhaps one day the memories will blur out, perhaps not. The memories are not for sale or rent, the new owners will make their own memories, but oh, if walls could talk… …
I thought, another issued “solved” but we will forever walk around like this, flawed.
Have you sold or given away anything related to the memory of your loss??