It’s three months after my grandmother’s funeral. I had been waiting for the holidays to return to her home, and enjoy a full one and a half months of her cooking; a full one and a half month’s break quietly anticipated even as I told her I couldn’t go on normal school days because of how busy I was.
And now, I visit her house. I put my slippers at the doorstep, push the huge oaken door, and almost, just almost, call out for her. The oaken door swings slowly back, the mouth of the house closing behind me. I wonder why my own mouth closes, shut tight with her name swallowed down like a confession, a refusal, a rock-hard truth too inedible.
She showed her love through food. In my rapidly fading memory, the kitchen was always orange-lit with sunlight, white ceramic floor speckled with blue.
Three months after her departure, the kitchen resembles her eyes- shut tight and never opening again. The kitchen was, after all, the only way she knew how to express how she felt. Mottled grey with a slight layer of dust, the utensils she once used is now neatly kept away. They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Looking at the kitchen now, I recognise it, but it doesn’t look the same in my memory.
I almost see her silhouette on her bed. She used to watch television, as I took naps there. Her bedroom was like a pair of lungs to me. It was a haven, a break from the outside world- it was a breath of fresh air and much-craved warmth. It was regular- time seemed to pass like the steady staccato of my ribcage as I slept.
To me, her house is the echo of her voice. It is the consolation of what I thought she would have said as I cried all three days of her funeral. It is my hand, grasp torn from hers. It is regret and memories and love- human concepts that never were able to defeat nature’s law of death. It is a shell of her; empty as its owner moves on, but not quite as I try and fail to break free.
My mother kept pictures of her own deceased mother and said everyone had a keepsake for their own grief; I wonder if this house represents the words I never got to say.