Kristen Douglas

Moving on starts with goodbye


It’s a word that has really resonated with me over the past few weeks.

In February we suddenly, and very unexpectedly, lost my mother-in-law.

Last Saturday, we officially said goodbye during a celebration of life that was full of family, love and memories.

It was bitter sweet, as such events usually are, but my husband and his brother did an amazing job, from the hand-crafted box that my husband made to hold the urn with my mother-in-law’s ashes, to the sparkly high-heeled shoes that were chosen from her very large shoe collection to be put on display.

It was a touching tribute to a very loving, skilled, ambitious and strong-willed woman, gone much too soon.

It was also a time to reconnect with members of my husband’s family who I hadn’t seen in a long time. Family came from Nelson, from the Lower Mainland, from Nanaimo, Victoria, Comox and places in between.

It’s an amazing feeling to have such support all around you and I know it meant so much to my husband and his brother to have everyone up for the weekend, sharing stories about their mom. But, like all good things, the day eventually came to an end, everyone went their own separate ways and we had to say good bye.

Now, as the days go by, I’m preparing for another goodbye.

To the first and only home my husband and I have ever known as a married couple. By the end of the week we’ll be moved into my mother-in-law’s house which, with a bit of work, has been transformed in front of our very eyes in an effort to try and make it our own.

Again, bitter sweet, in so many ways.

As I look around my current home, all I see are boxes, boxes and more boxes. The joys of moving.

Living among the stacks of cardboard boxes I’m reminded of all the good times I’ve had in the nearly three years I’ve lived in that house. Having family over and cooking Christmas dinner for the first time, getting engaged in the living room, having friends over for countless New Year’s parties, birthdays, Halloween parties, Easter dinner. The list goes on.

It’s amazing how many memories you can make in a place in just three years and how attached you become. I’m going to miss having my best friend living right next door and I’m really going to miss being just one minute away from work.

But I know it’s time to move on to bigger and better things, unpack the old memories but be open to making new ones.

It is true what they say, it’s not a house that makes a home, it’s the people.

Maybe it’s not really goodbye after all, but hello to a new home, a new reality, a new adventure and a new beginning.