A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation
I wonder how many widows -- statistically -- need to leave their homes. There are so many issues.. the work of owning or maintaining the home, then we know that 85% of widows have the same or worse financial status after their losses, wish to move closer to family, or any of many other reasons.
But being around "your things" can be helpful in grief, and a stable home environment is super important to kids. And moving is one of the top 3 most stressful things that can happen to you. (I think it's "1. spousal loss, 2. divorce, 3. moving house." Yet I think it's a transition other people really take for granted for widowed people when we have so much else going on.
Have you had to move -- directly or indirectly related to your loss? How are you doing with it?
My husband died Feb. 13th 2012. After selling everything I owned in California (that did NOT include a home) I moved to Texas where I grew up, married Paul and moved into his house with him. It was understood that if something happened to him, his house would go to his kids - and I was fine with that. He also said tho, and made sure the kids knew that I could stay there as long as I wanted to or needed to. Well, after he died, it was hard for me to be there all alone - I was scared all the time. One of his sons was living with us but he was rarely home and spent the night elsewhere a lot. It was also difficult to come home, turning the key and expecting him to be there only to be heartbroken over and over again. So, a short 6 weeks after he died, I moved into an apartment. I have regretted it it a few times, mostly due to financial. I would have only had to pay the utilities at Pauls house (it was paid for) instead of rent and utilities. So, I've had a decrease in income and a major increase in expenses - and I am still not working full time and my job is awful.
So, while on the one hand I feel safer in the apartment and things work really well and there is no maintenance stuff, I also realize I could have helped myself out financially by staying at Pauls house longer and saving some money. It has also been difficult dealing with the loss and the other huge change of moving.
So, it all depends on the individual's situation. I wouldn't recommend making this big of a change if you don't have to though because it can add more stress to a very difficult situation.
My husband of 44 years died in Jan. 2013...just 2 months ago. He never let me in on the finances even though over the years I begged him to let me help. When he died I had absolutely NO idea where to begin. I waited for bank statements to arrive and took clues from that and the paper trail here at home. He had loans I knew nothing about but had no insurance on any of the them. They are all in his name except the mortgage so I have a decision to make. Stay in this run down home or move out and let them forclose or go through bankrupcy or possibly both. Either way if I do stay and try to keep the house I know I will struggle every month just to keep my head above water. I know I shouldn't make major decisions just now but still I don't want to keep paying the mortgage I can't afford and will never get anything back. I am getting counciling for issues concerning others trying to run my life with well meaning suggestions, none of which seem reasonable to me. My thinking is still foggy at best. I am sick of people telling me I am strong when I don't feel that way. I break down frequently and most people don't see it. The few who do simply do not understand why I am still grieving. Sorry for all this but I needed to vent.
Hellow Huckleberry -- So sorry you are having to go through this. I know every situation is different, but I will share my experience (so far). My husband of 33 years died last April. We had a biiiig house with a biiiig mortgage payment, which we had been struggling to pay when he was well and working. So we had been wanting to "get out from under it" for the last few years. I made the last mortgage payment the month he died, and I hired an attorney (get referrals) to help with the process. The attorney cost a lot, but I did not have to answer the phone anymore. I just gave them my attorney's number and told them to talk to him-- that was worth a lot! I took my time then getting rid of things. My son and wife bought a house and said the basement was mine to live in, so I had a wonderful place to move to -- but the process of getting everything out of that huge house was difficult-- i really missed my husband during that time. In December I finally was finished clearing out, and the house was sold at foreclosure auction. I'm still afraid they will come after me to pay the difference between what we owed and what the house sold for - but so far (3 months) that hasn't happened. It feels so good to be out of that big house with all of it's upkeep, huge yard, utility bills, etc,etc.
I feel confident that I made the right decision for me. Follow your gut and I know you will be able to make the best decision for you.
Well i feel sad for all of us having to deal with so much after our losses. My husband died on the 19th. Feb. this year of a sudden heart attack. My husband didn't ever own any property while i was married to him for 10 years, but he worked hard for a while before he had some major health problems and was on disability. Ever since i have been with him we have rented. I owned my own home but had to sell it because of mine and my husband's moves abroad. I am Australian, he was American, and enjoyed living in each other's countries together. We had an interesting life experiencing each other's cultures. My youngest son misses the States very much, and he did all his High School education in Florida, and a little bit of Middle school in NC. We also imported our dogs to be with us, as they are our furkids, LOL, and that is an expensive thing to do. I get what would be equivalent to a 401K from previously, that is all the income i have, not really all that much to get by on, but i have my two adult sons living with with me to help out. My husband was actually living here with me in Aus. after my daughter died last year, and my youngest son and i had to fly back here immediately to be with her, so left hubby in the States to take care of everything there, while i set up house here, another rental, so he had a home to come to and for us to be together again.. He was here for 3 weeks and died suddenly of a massive heart attack. So very sad, i waited so long for him to come home and now such a short time later he is gone.
But we had such an adventure together, the most exciting thing i have ever done in my life, and i wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, and the fact that i am still here in this rental house where he died doesn't bother me because i know i don't have to stay here any longer than i want to, but for now its ok. For me our memories are with each other in our heart and spirit, regardless of any house we lived in, and i know i will take all those wonderful memories of our adventures with me wherever i go, they are just a thought away, and his ashes and some of our belongings too, and that comforts me.
Hi diannerose, My Condolences on the death of your husband, ((((( ))))) Thankyou for sharing your story. Wow, that's unreal. My hubby loved Australia too and was so happy to be back here with me. He had lived in Australia with me once before, and was here for a little over two years before we all went back to the States in 2006. We had planned to come back to Australia to live towards the end of last year, but when my daughter was ill and consequently died two weeks later last year i flew home very early in May with my youngest son who is now 19, to be by her side, and we had those precious two weeks with her at the hospital A very sad time.
I also feel bad that my husband died here such a short time after he got back to me, and his Family back in the States were very shocked just as i was, but there was no way of knowing. His Family have been wonderful and very supportive, and that is a great comfort to me right now too. I asked them if they wanted him flown back home for a funeral there, but they decided he was my husband and i should take care of all that here, which is what i did. They know that they can have some of John's ashes if they decide on that, but so far haven't expressed any wishes in that regard. His Mother just wants me to hold onto them, as she said that brought her comfort when her first husband died. It is unreal because John died at the very same age as his Dad, at age 57.
I don't think John would of cared that if he was going to die that it would be here in Australia, as he and his Family told me he just so much wanted to be here with me, so i'm very grateful he made it back and we got to share those three wonderful weeks together.
As i'm sure your husband would also have wanted to be with you wherever you both were to live, and i'm glad we all have those wonderful memories to keep us going until we meet them again one day. But i know in the interim it is just so difficult to try and go on without them while we are still here.
I know of the Great Ocean Road, a beautiful place there. I am in inland N.S.W.
My previous husband was from South Australia, so i know it there, and still have relatives that live there. A pretty place. Love the Barossa Valley.
I may have to move out of this house eventually due to finances. My husband owed a ton of taxes which I will have to pay, and we have a large HELOC which I also have to pay. But, I hope to be able to stay for at least another year. I am comfortable here. I don't enjoy the maintenance, but I can hire someone to help with that.
It has taken me 2 years to realize I needed to move......I am so lucky to have a son that will let me build on and still be separate......and small.........what took me over the edge was my dog getting skunked 2 times in a week.....argh.....it all came crashing down....I had to leave....I am taking an easy way out...mostly because I can't even donate clothes of my husbands...I will do that when I have to....but for the rest of the things I am going to have an auction.....and then spruce up the house and sell it......I can feel the weight of what I am going to do......but I am anxious to get it done.....I had no idea it took so long to get all the details and permits for building....it is still going to be a while.........but at least it is a something to look forward to....and stress about.......