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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

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!

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16 months after my husband passed away, I rented out our home and moved to a larger city for a better paying job.  I was able to buy a small home close to my children and grandchildren.  I have no regrets.  I know I did the right thing.  I could never go back to the home we shared together.    

Right after returning to our home after services I told a friend who had accompanied me, I have to get out of here!

Three plus years, here I still am, in a place too big for me, with more maintenance than I can comfortably do. After doing the seasonal yard work in a wave of serial emotions....1st year: we did this together, 2nd: I for sure gd'mit can do this alone, 3rd: why? This season I have paid some one to do it with the rationalization that divided by x years, its a deal. And would not hurt so much if the roof hadn't sprung a leak and the "new" (i.e. we put it in six years ago) heater/ac has a bad whatchacallit. All this as I have way past 75% decided it is time to go! lol, flickin' home ownership and I live in an area that not only went kaput in '08 but never really had a '90's surge.

But the house selling for less than I would like? I can do the good rationalization a day (Jeff Goldblum's character in the Big Chill said this), it is the where to go that devils me. Good friends and colleagues live 3-4 hours away. Family and other good friend, not so many friends, live 9-10 hours away. Anything really midway is too expensive and a total unknown. Which may be part of it.

How many of you have moved to someplace where you do not know anyone? Funny, early on a friend said, when considering moving, go where you have known - folks, family, friends.

Then she moved to someplace where she knew no one. Why? How? I asked her. Oh, Linda, she said, it is now an adventure  and remember I did move back to xxxx for several years. I'm ready now.

Yet I did one day make a list of those widowed still in their homes, starting with my mother, she lives in the house they built in the 60's, her friend down the road likewise. Two others living several towns over. Smallish places that they have made thier own. And then thought of a woman I'd worked for in college (many years ago, lol) who owned a large pony farm where she stayed running it, with help and another much more recently doing the same.

And my aunt who within a year sold the home they had lived in for 40+years and found a place she liked better. 

Another good rationalization for the day? We come to our decisions in our own times...which may hastened or delayed by circumstances. 

Liz143, I agree, the thought of all it entails to move, alone, is daunting and our "nest egg" had no other liens to consider. Since we had moved to this place only a few years before my Dear died, I have no doubt that even these years later I still feel transient. Had I been in the house we owned before this? No, I would not have ever considered moving. Now? It is a matter of when, not if.

Liz, I am also 63. My house is not as big but it is a hundred years old and everything went wrong the first year. Things have settled down a bit but I have a pain disability and have to hire out a lot of work. Jud did some work with the University here so we would qualify for some condos that are about four minutes away by car. I am keeping my eye on them but also am liking my house more, as I get more fixed! I am pretty confused at this point. I live near a seminary and have thought of having  student live here in return for helping me. I am going through a lot of things right now and getting rid of thing,  knowing that I want the space if I am going to have someone live in and need to sort through anyway! This is no help to you but I just wanted you to know that it is not easy. I have so many things that are "Jud and I." I will always have the pictures we bought together and special books or his, etc. That will never go! So I plug on and it is a lot of work but the garden is sure looking pretty!

Your "I'm pretty liking my house more as I get it fixed" for sure had me laughing as I so resemble that remark! ...including the going thru stuff. 

Liz, I am not sure how much help some of us (umm, like me) have been but i hope our musings and deliberations have at least let you know, however you, or any of us, decide, it may be good to know at least, the confusion is shared.

Liz, I had a good friend who took in college kids.  This lady was widowed but took in college students.  When I met her, she was in her late 70's and had been doing this for years.  She stayed "very young" and was such a vibrant spirit.  She loved having youthful energy in the house.  It provided company, security, and income.  I don't know about how she handled the "privacy" thing.  It worked very well for her for many years.  She had a pottery studio in her home, and she also took pottery classes at the Art Institute well into her 80's after she dismantled her own studio.  Having the young people there worked well for her.  Yet another option to mull over.  The first thing is, to picture Where Else you'd want to go.  A big question that requires soooo much energy to even contemplate...

I am 63 and have been a widow for 1 1/2 years.  My house was older and large and we have an acreage.  We lived there 36 years.  I felt early on that it was just uncomfortable and a lot of work there without my David. I decided to wait a year to decide if I wanted to sell.  Those feelings never changed and it was just overwhelming to be there.  I think either your home provides comfort or it does not.  I thought I would never leave the home I loved but that place changed from being a home to just being a house that had too many memories, good and bad, that were overwhelming.  I think the decision needs to be based on how your house feels when you are there.  I have just sold my house and have bought a condo with zero access.  I do have do do my mowing and snow removal, which I am capable of doing at this time.  I did the math and paying a condo fee every month is not economical.  If I find that I can no longer do this, then the cost of hiring someone will be overall way less than paying a monthly maintenance fee.  I move in to my condo in a month so I will let you know how it goes and if I made the right decision!  Good luck to you.  Go with what your heart tells you will be the best for you in the longrun. 

Liz143, you and I have so much in common.  I closed on my new villa six months after Don died (he died in August 2012; I closed in March 2013), and I am convinced that I did the right thing.  I loved my old neighborhood, not necessarily the house itself, but it was very hard to leave the familiar surroundings we had been in for 39 years.  But the neighborhood was starting to become unkempt and I knew if I didn't do something right away, I would find myself in a circumstance of having to sell under bad conditions. I was used to Don taking care of things; that was his nature.  I was not treated like a princess by any stretch of the imagination, but he was always there and I didn't have to worry about anything.  But buying this place and all that goes with it, the decisions that have to be made, the contracts that have to be signed, selling my old house (I close on July 3 and I expect many tears), have given me such a sense of accomplishment that I know I can handle the future alone.  Granted, I don't want to, but I know I can.  That doesn't mean what I did is right for everyone, but it was right for me.  Now the downside: I don't know if I have given myself the time to mourn Don's death because I have been so busy.  I don't even know what it means to grieve.  I have had my moments, of course, and whole days of feeling like I don't know if there is a future for me alone, the crying spells that still happen, but I don't know how long this is supposed to last, if I'm over the worst, or if it's going to hit me in the middle of a parking lot like what happened to my sister.  I don't know if my feelings would be different if I didn't have this giant diversion.  Another downside is the inability to focus.  And this moving and selling business needs plenty of focus.  I know things have fallen through the cracks, but nothing has come back at me yet.  By the way, I'm your age, 64, and if I didn't think I had plenty of life left in me to enjoy this, I wouldn't have done it.  Good luck in any decision you make.

Hi everyone, It looks like several of us are about the same age! I will be 64 in July, and I like to think that I have plenty of adventures ahead. Who knows. My house has been for sale for less than a week, and I am waiting to hear back from a counteroffer. It would be wonderful if it sells so quickly. Biased of course, but it is a fantastic house for the money. I am starting to look seriously at apartments now. I'm not a very good downsizer. But, here, I only feel like half a person. I know I won't forget, but I do want to make some new memories. Wishing good luck to all of us. 


Well, my house is officially sold. It was only on the market for six days, but it took me 4 months to get it ready! I was dragging my feet alot, wondering if I was ready. I finally decided I would never be ready so I might as well just do it. I've never lived in an apartment, except for a few weeks when we first got married. I live in the midwest (Iowa). My mom and two of my sisters live in the Carolinas, so I want to visit them more often. I'm hoping to go to England next spring. And I would like to be able to go to events (maybe Camp Widow next time) and art retreats. I would love to see more of Europe before it's too difficult to travel. Of course, I'm still working and don't get a lot of vacation time, so it will take a while. I just have to keep telling myself this was the right thing to do, even though I am really very attached to my house and furniture. Oh well. Onward and Upward.

It has been 2 years since Jim died, so it took me awhile, even though I knew right away that the house just wasn't the same anymore. I think I am relieved. I know I'm stunned that I am actually doing this.

Sanamora, lol. congrats on six days but what a whirwind! What did you do to get ready?

Will you stay in the area where you are and perhaps where your job is, or head toward family in the Carolinas? Can you?

I do not remember my english lessons well but do believe that while part of 'stun' is 'stunned' it way for sure must include 'stunning'

lol, you've made a 'stunning' move!

I'm also thinking about downsizing.  The house needs repairs, like others have said about their older homes.  Really can't add anything helpful.  Just want you to know that I'm in the same boat (I mean house quandary) and I will keep following this discussion.  So please, everyone, gives us your thoughts, and especially your success stories, whether you're staying, going, or gone.

Just an update on my house sale. Everything going smoothly so far. We close on August 17. So I have 6 weeks to get moved. Would really like to be able to move by August 1. I have found one place I really like. I've filled out the application and will know by the middle of the week. Other people want it too, so we will see. After all my crises and troubles of the last few years, I worry because my credit rating isn't good, and I didn't even think to get some things changed into my name. Our mortgage is still in the name of the estate. I did get the title changed  a few months after, but never changed the mortgage. I hope that a nice place will take a chance on me. Otherwise, who knows where I will be living? I wanted an adventure, so I guess it's here.

If you are thinking of selling, it's a really good idea to look at lots of places ahead of time-just so you have an idea of what's available. I've found many of the ads to be very misleading. I looked at a few apartments before I listed the house, but not enough. I was afraid I would find something and then not be able to get it if my house was on the market too long. Turned out that wasn't going to be a problem!!!


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