In the months since my mum passed away we have been emptying her house ready for sale – one of those jobs which is difficult but, sadly, necessary. Saying that, the process hasn’t been as hard as I had imagined it would be; perhaps because I have moved so much of my mum’s things into my own house! It’s strange seeing these very familiar objects occupy places in new constellations; strange and, at the same time, comforting.
On one of my more recent visits, I noticed the empty diffusers sitting on windowsills and shelves and was struck, straight away, by the visual metaphor – the way they seemed to signify the absence of mum in our lives.
Each one once contained something which, over time, has passed from the bottle into the air. Now they are empty. Nothing passes to nothing.
Standing in the house, I am of course aware of all that has gone before. Memories of times that were good and those that were sometimes hard. That is all that’s left there now. Like the bottles, the house is empty.
So, along with my mum’s possessions, I’ve brought home the empty diffusers so I can explore them as objects – as visual metaphors – for the loss I am feeling.