A dear friend recently sent me the word, “Hiraeth,” along with its meaning.  Hiraeth is a deep longing for something, especially one’s home as defined in an online dictionary.  I found this absolutely beautiful and relevant no matter where you are in your life’s journey.  I long for my grandparents’ homes even though one of them still stands.   I’m sure most of you can relate.  


When I first read this word, I thought that it didn’t really pertain to me.  My beloved home that I have spent my adult life in is very close to the home I grew up in and where my parents still live.  But then I started thinking about how equally important my paternal grandparents’ home was to me.  They lived a short walk from me for the first nineteen years of my life.  I was at their house as much as I was at my own.  

When I got married and had my own children, we still spent lots of time with my grandparents.  My children had many years to form attachments to their home as well.  As a matter of fact, my daughter and her husband made Gran and Pop’s home their own for a few years after Gran passed away.  My cousin lives there now.  We have access to it, can visit whenever we want, but it isn’t the same when the people who loved us there are gone.  Therefore, hiraeth becomes a feeling in which I can relate.

My other grandparents’ home was also a short drive away when I was growing up.  I have so many fond memories of holidays spent there along with games played with cousins.  There was never fancy furniture there, but I can almost smell the wonderful aromas wafting from that kitchen.  That house is gone now.  Again, hiraeth is relatable.  

Hiraeth and a love of vintage

Maybe hiraeth is a big part of my love for vintage.  Vintage things bring to mind a home that is only there in spirit.  Those items allow me to preserve some of my beloved memories and share them with new generations.  We consistently come across items that instantly take me back to my parents’, grandparents’, and great grandparents’ homes.  Thankfully, those memories are good for me.

Importance of Home

This leads me to thinking about how important it is to provide children with a stable loving home.  A place to feel safe and warm is so important.  Even adult children and grandchildren are comforted by home…anyway, I know I am.  

So it is sad when we long for a home that may no longer exist the way in which we want it to.  It may make us tearfully sentimental to think about it very much.  However, this should also lead those of us who have had that experience to be incredibly thankful.  We should also promote home.  I think striving for home to mean something positive to every child, or adult, that we have the blessing of sharing our lives with is important.

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