this is how it ends

 

The son, who rarely visited the father, spent this whole weekend dismantling his life. The small house next door is empty now. I came to escape my own reality, and instead witnessed the removal of all trace of a life. At speed. Two days to wrap up 89 years – just a few days after it ended.  Clang after clang as the years are tossed in the skip. Or is it the sound of inviting the bell, inviting mindfulness in me around this experience – I’d rather have buried my head.

I can see a suitcase on the coffee table. He sat there for a part of each day, reading, looking out to sea, moving to another of his default positions, as directed by the sun. Pulled the curtains in the early evening, opened them at bedtime so that the first light of each day wasn’t missed. A routine man, our neighbour.

The son closed the back doors this evening.  Curtains and furniture rubbished out the front. Memories trashed. Let’s hope the suitcase held photos and family stories. Let’s hope the contents are on their way south tonight. Let’s hope the tales will be retold.

 

 

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18 thoughts on “this is how it ends

  1. so sad.. I hope the family kept the stuff that mattered to him…

  2. Yes, one hopes… though not all childhoods and happy… and not everyone want to remember them…

  3. Memories of clearing a house after my mother passed. My childhood home…not always a happy place for me. It was all rather surreal and I was never really sure I was actually present in all parts during the process. Often easier to detach and just do the task then think later and remember later on.

    • I see what you mean.

      My childhood home is long gone and was a very happy place. I just can’t see myself clearing her part of the house that quickly and of course with siblings involved…I’m not sure what will happen actually.

  4. Annie I love how observant you are, the makings of a beautiful writer. My father had a suitcase full of thank you letters from people he helped over the years. We all decided that was better than money or possessions. He left us a legacy to be kind, generous, helpful and loving to our neighbor’s.

  5. And so it goes. Our time spent here is precious, but so fleeting.

  6. It’s such an empty ending. To think he lived there for so many years and is now gone. We need to make the most of what we’ve got in the here and now xxx

  7. Heart Kindling

    Brilliant piece of writing. Got me in the mood straight away. The fragility of life…

  8. Oh Annie, I hope it means more family adventures are in store. I have been thinking tonight of my eldest leaving next year. It’s exciting but heartbreaking. Your writing is so beautiful and poignant.
    xoxox mag

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