Be Ceremonial

Farewell to a Family Cottage

Karen shares her House Cooling ceremony as she brought her family together to say goodbye to their cottage, a place that held 45 years of memories.

A house cooling ceremony story

Oh my heart…where to begin?

Birch Bay ~ our family cottage since I was 1 year old, now sold 45 years later. How do you say goodbye to a place that is the fabric of you? A place that holds memories from every stage of my life ~ a toddler, a young child, a teenager, a young adult, a mother, and now an almost empty nester.

Decades of family memories made in this place. A place we shared with my immediate and extended family ~ my aunt and uncle and grandparents. Saying goodbye has been a long process. It took us years to build up to the actual ‘sale’. When the reality was nearing, I had that cry that you have only a few times in your life – the one that hits you full throttle and you weep as if you can’t stop.

The thought of walking away from a place that has not changed in 45 years seemed unreal. The carpets, the decor, the 70’s mirrored wall paper, the creak on the top step as you went downstairs. Those were the constants in my life.

What is a house cooling ceremony?

One day, I crossed paths with Megan at my place of work. I shared with her what I was feeling and she told me about Be Ceremonial and the idea of a house cooling ceremony.

I downloaded the App and set out to create a ceremony to honour this place that held so many memories and so much love. There were so many ritual options for us to create our own goodbye. We decided to plan the ceremony for the last weekend we would all be together as a family at our cottage.

The farewell rituals I chose

I chose to open the ceremony with a little speech, sharing why it was important to take this time to say goodbye. We then chose the Room Stories ritual and we moved through each room in the home, sharing a story that came to mind each time. It was amazing to take the time like that to share our stories ~ some of them I hadn’t even heard until that night!

We ended the ceremony with a toast in the kitchen, honouring the memories we made and the times we shared in this home with family and friends. It was a beautiful night that I will never forget. I was so grateful to have something that guided me through the process of doing something so overwhelming and difficult to process.

Farewell to a Family Cottage

The last day in my cabin I decided to do my own personal ceremony as the sun set on this chapter. I walked through each room one more time, saying my own personal goodbyes. I slowly ran my hands down the bannister for the last time, walked out of the house and gave it a kiss as I said my final farewell.

This home will be part of my soul forever, and I’m so thankful to Megan and Be Ceremonial for giving me ritual ideas to say goodbye to this home and make this transition a little bit easier. I now know where I can find ritual inspiration for all of the changes we face in life.

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