death in the family

i have been taking care of my twin nieces, who are three, and my nephew, who is five, for a few days now. normally they live in new york, but my brother has had to be at work, and my sister-in-law has been with her family in wisconsin as her father struggles with a re-currence of leukemia. i am the most flexible in my schedule of the family-- so it has made sense (and been really fun) to have the little ones with me and my girls this week.

well, last night tom lost his battle with leukemia. a jolly bear of a man is no longer with us and we are all sad.

the thing is, i struggle with writing about this this morning. this is a design blog about houses and home and the care and tending of our design shop-- so it feels like what i should be writing about every day is about color and paint and furniture placement. but-- this morning my head and heart are full of thoughts on life and loss and how to make sense of it all.

when we think about home we think about the space itself, the things in it, the light moving through it, the views out of the windows-- but our sense of home so often comes from our family and our relationships-- the structure itself is the vessel for the interactions that occur within it-- and it is some combination of that sense of safety and intimacy that really makes us feel at home. when a member of our family dies, therefore, they take a piece of our home with them-- a little piece that we can't easily replace. there is an aching in our hearts, and a sense of loss in the space-- the vacuum of where that person has been. it can take a long time to re-order our space to make room for the vacuum without always feeling the loss.

and now i am off to make waffles for the little ones, who have no idea about any of these things.


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