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  • The best part of traveling is coming home.

    Or so I've always thought. However, after the accident, and after spending well over a year living with different friends in different corners of the world, setting foot on my native soil again didn't quite feel like homecoming. It was with a sense of loss I looked up at the well-known sign outside the airport terminal that rainy day in November. Kiss and goodbye.

    The apartment was cold, there was a draft from the window I hadn't noticed before, it was as if she had taken the warmth, the very soul of the place with her when she died. Lying in the big bed that first night, alone, freezing, I realized that she had in fact been the soul of the place. Her presence, the warmth of her body, the lingering smile in the corners of her eyes was what had lit up the corners of the rooms that now were blacked out.

    Building a home is one thing. Building it back up after a desolating disaster is a different matter. That's when it suddenly becomes clear that the sense of home has nothing to do with furniture, photographs, trinkets, kitchen utensils or tableware. The unbearable absence of the deceased, the loved one, the love, becomes so acute. She was the cement that would have kept the bricks of memories in place. She was the kiss to look forward to, always. Now she is the goodbye I can't bring myself to express.
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