My house is much too big for one person and the maintenance is difficult for me, but I am so undecided if I want to sell it and, if I did, where would I go? So many folks advise to wait a year. Well, I'm 5 months into this journey and feel that I need to start looking at the possibilities. Given that my Jim's death was sudden and unexpected, I had NEVER considered anything other than staying here till we were both gone.
I'm 63 which is relatively young, but old enough to not feel that I have the energy or interest to start a whole new life. Maybe things will change as this grief process unfolds, but it is hard for me to want to think about all the changes required to sell this house and then move elsewhere. On the other hand, I just cannot bear the thought of living out the rest of my life here in the old 6 bedroom house with the original 1968 furnace. My hubby was very good at doing a bit of maintenance here and there; he knew when and who to call in to fix things before they broke it seems. My cash flow is not as good as ours was before our nest egg became an "estate" that had to be divided.
I'm wondering what others are thinking. What are the pitfallls? Did anyone have some success with staying? Or with moving?
Thanks so much to all of you out there who share so much of yourselves here. Hugs!
My husband Gord passed away on Sept 22/18 and I put an offer on a condo this month and will be putting our house up for sale in April. This was our original plan together for early 2019 and he made me promise to keep moving forward with it. I’m glad I am but at the same time devasted I’ll be in a new place without him and overwhelmed at doing it alone. My kids will help but I’m the one that has to make the decisions on what to keep and all of the paperwork associated with it. I have my kids blessing to keep our plans and the encouragement of my friends and brothers. I’ve been doing the yard maintenance and snow shovelling on my own for the last few years so I won’t miss that. All of my memories will go with me and we always said once we’d made the decision to move that was it and leave the sentiment behind so we don’t get stuck in it. Easier to say together than now alone.
I know it wasn't an easy decision but I applaud you for keeping your promise and proceeding with your plans. The love of my life passed away April 29,2018. Every year for the past several years we would make a to do list for the new year. When he passed away I questioned if I should carry out the promises we had made. I decided to proceed as we had planned. I had never been on a cruise. Even though he wasn't interested in going when I found out a group of ladies I knew casually had booked a cruise he urged me to go for it. Before he passed away I had already started buying "tropical" apparel. He got a kick out of watching me flouncing around in a sundress. Unfortunately he passed away and due to unforeseen circumstances the trip was cancelled. But our darling daughter came to the rescue. Her travel agent friend booked a cruise for the two of us to the Bahamas and Cuba. Our two sons were delighted and encouraged me to go. I did and it gave me the respite that I needed. Another item on our to do list was a headstone for his mother's grave. He had picked out the style he wanted and had even started putting away money for the purchase. I know he was looking down from heaven and smiling when I put flowers on the headstone that he had picked for his mom. It was comforting to me and to his mother's last remaining sister. There were other plans we had made as we talked about the years we thought we had ahead of us …..would we move in with the kids (No) or into the Independent living facility we had already checked out, would we move to Florida where our oldest son resides or stay in the Midwest....as much as possible I intend to keep the plans that we made together. However, should circumstances dictate I take a different course of action I know in my heart he would be saying do what is best for me. I feel your loved one would say the same....do what is going to be best for you and bring you peace and joy. I wish you well.
Thank you for your reply. I now know I'll ask friends out for supper on our anniversary and the kids/grandkids and I will go out to celebrate his birthday. I never want anyone to forget him and talking about him really does help as hard as it is. He was a good man and excelled in his job of 38 yrs helping others. I have also started on planning a trip for the family this coming Christmas. I surprized the kids with this at Thanksgiving as a way to celebrate their dad and be thankful we can be together as a family and have some fun. Yes it won't be the same without Gord but we honour his memory by being together and having some fun and remembering their dad and grandpa with smiles thru our tears. We are looking for somewhere warm for ages 14 to 62. With our winters and wind chills of minus 50 celcius somewhere warm will be a treat.
I laughed out loud when reading "would we move in with the kids (No)" as this is what we always teased them with while saying a big NO to that. I'm lucky that the kids and grandkids live in the same city and my brothers are all within driving distance too. His are more spread out but we still talk and that helps.
I wish you well also.
Hi Heidi. I did the same thing you are doing. I packed up our memories too. One thing I found, though, was that I found myself in the new townhouse wondering how I got there. Not only had my whole life changed suddenly but my surroundings did too. But it will get better. There is no perfect solution to avoid pain. If there was I would have found it!! Don't second guess yourself when you get there. There is no point. Keep reminding yourself why you did this in the first place and trust that it is right for you even though sometimes it feels hard.
My house is too big for me also, but I love this house. I can't imagine living any where else the thought just overwhelms me. I will stay here as long as I can as it is my home & safe place, Also if I don't vacuum or dust, I really don't care, its just me & if it happens once a month I am fine. I just do it in stages.
I have a lot of the same thoughts about living at home. But it really is too big for me. And I feel the same as you when it comes to cleaning the who;e place.
It is overwhelming but I'm under a deadline so it will get done. I know it's the best for me but it just doesn't make it easier.
I love the memories we made in the 34+ years here but it doesn't feel like home anymore and it's painful coming back to the house by myself. Some days I don't go out so I don't have to come back. I'm glad I have my dog, Sophie, but she can't talk to me. :o) We had the chance to talk about what I would need to do when he passed away so this decision was planned and not something I'm doing on my own because of our joint decisions. Still causes ton of tears when I have to think about it and I've been putting off the clearing out that last two weeks. I know I have to do it but right now not something I can do. I'm under a deadline so it will get done I'll just have to push myself longer hours each day.
My husband passed away last October (2018). He had battled cancer for a couple of years and that was our life really: doctor's appointments, hospital stays and all the rest. Social life was gone of course as Dan could hardly eat and we only invited over very close friends and family. So it has been 5 months. The evenings are rather the hardest. The alone-ness is terrible any time though. All the things we used to do together that I may never do again. I won't remarry; once is enough and we had 42 years of marriage so now I think of myself as an old widowed grandmother. Stopped coloring my hair! My house was a family home and now there is just myself and my dog. The yard! I hate yard work and we have mature landscaping and an old sprinkler system. I have dreaded the summer yard time. My husband has boxes of sprinkler repair things and he could fix all sorts of things. I cannot fix anything. To realize when out and about that no one is waiting for me at home.....and now my husband's garage where he loved to tinker and fix and putter around and which is filled with lots and lots of tools and fluids...things I know little about and things I will not use now that it is "my" garage. I am not liking this widow thing very much. My sons are very busy but only live about a half hour away. One is willing to help but has little time and the other is taken up with his fiancée and will help if I specifically ask (beg) for help. I can keep busy most of the day and now have some yard things to attend to but the evenings are long, dark, and lonely. I know I need to get reading again or something. Will see how this first summer without my husband goes and if it is too frustrating and time consuming with all the home and yard upkeep, I may have to consider looking for something smaller. Sorry for the ramble.
Evenings are the worst and just as you described, long, dark and lonely. Wish I had answer I could share with you, still trying to find one.
My husband passed away suddenly too. We were living in our forever home and loved it. We had done a lot of wonderful upgrades to it over the years. HOWEVER...I found it too big as well and also too painful to live there surrounded by the memories of the amazing life we had. Sleeping in our bed in our room, the closet we shared, the dining room where we had so many wonderful dinner parties etc. I sold it a year after he died and moved to a brand new townhouse not too fa from our home so I was in the same neighborhood with my friends still around. I was hoping that the new surroundings would help propel me forward somehow??? And,..somehow it has. Not going to lie, I get wistful some times for the house but when I actually think about being there alone (our boys are grown) the feeling of the "ghosts" of our past life returns. Also, we had a lousy neighbor that I didn't want to deal with anymore either. I think if I can give some advice I would say to wait a bit. That way you will know if your feeling of wanting to move is based on the amount of work to be done around there or if you are in the throes of grief and think moving will help to make you feel differently...
I lost my wife 2 1/2 years ago. Lived in Florida. Did not want to leave, but kids and grandkids moved to Ohio. Snow and cold. Yuk. But I guess family is most important so I left for Ohio. Got a smaller house and tried to organize it similar to the Florida house as my wife had done. After two winters in Ohio I want to go back to Florida, but I am so close to my grandkids it would be a hard decision. But I still make sure I sit in my wife’s rocking chair and talk to her every day. I miss her so much!