Going Home to Heal

Hi Em,

Thank you for the lovely note. It means a lot to know that you're thinking of me at this challenging time.

I did what you suggested and spent the day baking and cleaning. On days like today, this is as comforting to me as friendship. It does, however, feel like "going home."

As you know, I left my childhood home in 1986. Your hometown wasn't really mine. I've always considered the city of my birth, the city I returned to.

That is, until I went back for a visit.

With the connections that I have there--family and friends and memories--these are the things that make me think of it as home.

At first, I was as much an outsider here as when we moved there. But once I felt assimilated, after I rediscovered the lay of the land, I began to feel at home, again.

You ask if I think that one can go home to heal.

The answer is a resounding "Yes!" I did. I did, without knowing that this was my intention; it coincided with a renewed interest in my writing career and I took my young daughter with me so that he and I could share the experience. My son never saw it.

Whatever wounds I had been carrying were healed during that visit.

I'll send you a personal essay I wrote about the experience. You might want to write about yours.