This post may contain affiliate links. By purchasing a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you. Which in return validates to my family the few hours I spend staring at a computer screen in a day . See Disclosure for more info.
I remember the day distinctly when I came across the word Hiraeth on a meme on the internet.
Below the word it read the definition: a homesickness for home for which you can no longer return. Longing for a home, place or time that doesn’t exist anymore, missing something you will never get back.
Not too many people know the meaning of this word. It is a Welsh word and it doesn’t translate very well into an English meaning.
I now had a label for a feeling that I had most of my entire life. A feeling that I couldn’t put a word to before. Although I couldn’t even pronounce it correctly. I sat and stared at it for what felt like forever. I had never been so happy to see 7 letters before in my life. Being able to put a label to something I had felt for so long.
This means that someone else somewhere in the world experienced this sense of longing and made a word to define a feeling. How lucky I was to come across this exact meme.
It was like filling a place in my heart I knew I always had but never knew how to fix.
I had never heard anyone else express this longing quiet to the extent that I had. Maybe people experienced it and like me, didn’t know what it was and let it slip through their fingers.
Leave it to me to dwell on my emotions.
Let me tell you, the weight of sadness that comes with this word.
It is waking up everyday with flashes from the past. Remembering how good that time was. I can close my eyes, see and feel so strongly my family and where they were in those moments of their life, the things we did, what everything looked like and just how life was in general then. Almost euphoric.
For me that was my grandparent’s house. From the beginning of my life throughout my teens. The experiences from back then were and still are so sentimental.
Realizing that not only is the physical house not a place you can go anymore but the people are gone too. Nothing will ever quiet be the same as that place and that time. The sentiment doesn’t exist anywhere in the world besides my heart and my thoughts.
It is hard not being able to go to a place that is so vivid in your head.
It is as if you even could recognize in those moments at that specific place, with those specific people, that it was magical.
You will go the rest of your life trying to replicate such an enraptured time and place but always miss the mark, not having the exact ingredients to make it what it was.
The idea that literally there will never ever be a way to get back to a time or place that you experienced some of the best days of your life, is hard to accept.
I think about this word a lot.
I think about it because now I know there is an official word for this feeling and take comfort in the fact that as sad as this word is, other people oddly find comfort in the past just as I did.
I think about how maybe during some of these current, present or future moments, could end up being Hiraeth moments for my kids one day when they think about their grandparents homes.
I like to think that maybe my “Hiraeth” will play vividly like a movie on a screen just for me when my time is up, giving me one last glimpse at a time that was so magical and meant so much to me.
WHERE and WHAT is your Hiraeth?