Faced with an inevitable goodbye which I had managed to stave off for a year. I found myself in the midst of packing boxes and shelves lined with knick knacks for an estate sale. My heart heavy with memories it sometimes felt suffocating for me to be inside the house that we once shared. I’d enter the living room, dining room, and library full of items from someone else’s life. Someone whose life was so entwined with mine that it seems impossible even now a year after his passing to completely untangle everything.
M my friend and L’s assistant had meticulously categorized and organized the estate items on behalf of L’s family. I volunteered my help on the sale days in case she became overwhelmed with bargain hunters. I’d wander from room to room picking things up and telling her stories that were attached to each item. Sometimes repeating myself, sometimes telling her stories she already knew. She was kind and allowed me to ramble, so were random strangers. Some of them came more to see the inside of the house than to buy anything. The house which “they had always driven by and were so curious to see inside” and “wasn’t it beautiful and so old”. When the ones who were serious buyers (not just the lookey loos) when they purchased something it felt like a piece of me was being taken along with it. Letting go of that little statue of the boy playing with the turtle, broke my already shattered heart. Not really, but I think they had to pry it from my hands to take it out the door. Strange isn’t it how a life can amount to just a pile of stuff? Some of which nobody not even me wanted. How can that happen? A person, a living, breathing, touchable human, perfect and flawed and then no more. Nothing but memories, sometimes hard to access, and stuff just stuff left and no person. No real markers of the laughter, anger, love, growth, confusion, pain, or joy that mish mashed combination of things that make up a human being, lover, friend, boss, brother, son, the life they lived and the relationships they created with others. Except those memories that live on in the hearts and minds of others. And even that is not permanent. No wonder our ancestors made statues and monuments trying to hold on to something that once it is gone can’t be held. Loss and grief they are hard masters.
In the last 8 years I’ve lost most of my important people and nearly all of those I have depended on for love and support. For those few remaining I leave you out of that equation “important person category” to not tempt fate. The last few losses hitting me hardest as none of them were expected losses and each one compounded upon previous losses leaving me rootless and untethered to anything or anyone in this life.
First L last year the tragic surprise bringing me back from NYC to LA. Then a friend abandoning me over the summer because I seem to attract chaos to me. Then my lovely old kitty beginning her passing on Christmas day just as I came home from a friend’s house whose husband had just been released from the hospital into home hospice for his transition. I’ve been reeling whipped by the winds of change to and fro and finally the loss of what had been home to me for over 10 ½ years and even longer than that had been a major part of my life for 23 years. The lodge in the canyon in the Hollywood Hills. Home.
I’d made my rounds saying goodbye to the house and the grounds, the last looks, the pictures, the endless memories shared with anyone who would listen. Gathering back pieces of myself from nooks and crannies where I had dropped this or that piece of me. Lighting candles, offering prayers of gratitude to the spirits of the land, the house, my life with L, L himself, my pets buried there, the fallen oak tree, the wild deer, and God. Yet there seemed to be something more that needed to be done. Then it hit me the question how does a Bombshell say goodbye? As I wandered back downstairs starring for the hundredth or more time at all the stuff my eyes lit on the champagne. And it came to me a pink champagne bath. That’s how a Bombshell says goodbye.
So I gathered up all the bottles of champagne delighted that they actually were bottles of pink champagne. I gathered candles and the bunch of sunflowers left inside my door as a gift from my neighbor and her little boys to bring me some cheer as I started the move. And I lite candles and drew a bath to which I added in true love bath salts and elixir and bottles and bottles of pink champagne. Raising a glass, giving a toast to all that was given me and given by me there in that beautiful magical land in the canyon, in the Hollywood Hills. Thanking life and love for all that I had and all that I had lost and what I have gained from it all.