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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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The home we lived in was owned by me, my husband's children from a former marriage, his sister and mother.  They said I could stay as long as I wanted to but after 16 months I decided to find my own place.  Now no one has control over my home but me.  It has been a huge relief.  

While it's hard to have this decision made for you, perhaps it's a blessing in disguise. This way you get out from under a home that you've said is far too big for you and hard to maintain and can find a spot that feels just right. Although they sure aren't giving you much time. Are they planning to do some work on the place before they put it on the market and that's why they want you out in a month?  If that's a set date, then pull in any help you may have to get things organized to sell/give away/pack up. And for those things you can't decide whether to keep or get rid of ... box 'em up and deal with them later. If you have to rent a storage shed for a short time, that's far better than stressing about it with a deadline looming.  We'll be here to cheer you on ... wish we lived closer so we could offer some helping hands, too.

Liz, Since the decision has been made for you, I would just go with the fact that it is the right decision. It is hard to do things so quickly! I am sitting here surrounded by boxes wondering whatever I will do with all my stuff! Now is the time to think about what you would like. I am not making really big changes. I'm only moving a few miles away. And my new rented place reminds me a lot of the floorplan now. I thought I would be a little more adventurous than that, but that's how it's working out for me. But if you could, where would you live? Our lives have changed, and we can't keep them the way we wanted them to be, so I guess we change too! Good luck. I know you can find something quickly.

Sandi

I am trying to keep my home. The first thing I did was refinance. It dropped my payment from $1123 to $730. I couldn't believe it. But I have a lot of work that MUST be done before this winter. Jim had felt bad for so long that everything needs painted or updated. Thank God I have a next door neighbor that is willing to help me get it done. But I live in a safe area and have great neighbors and that means so much.

Hi Liz, 

My daughter and I just recently moved from the home in which my wife last lived. The home became too small and disorganized for us to stay, but I struggled with the fact that our new home would not have the memories of her. Now, I do not regret moving at all! I feel that my wife is with us in our new home and being in an environment that you makes you feel more comfortable makes it so much easier to heal. I could not keep everything of my wife's, but I kept everything that my daughter and/or I had a memory of. Moving is definitely stressful, but it's worth it for ourselves in the end. I wish you the best. 

- Dave 

I moved from the home we lived in for over 20 years, within a few months after my husband passed away. I was planning on moving closer to our daughters even while my husband was sick and was looking for a home when we came down for that last visit.  He never returned to our old house. I only did twice, once to to put the house on the market and another time to move the furniture once it sold.  I did downsize a lot but this home is much better for me. I still kept most of the furniture we bought together so it feels like home. I think my husband would have liked this house after all the work I put into it to make it livable. I also kept a few of his clothes that I couldn't get rid of, maybe eventually they will go. I do miss my best friend but being close to my daughters and grandsons is what is best for me... I know I would have made too many trips to visit them and I really didn't want to stay in that big house alone. My daughters really like having me close and I enjoy the time I get to spend with my grandsons. We all do what we need to do and what we feel is best for us. This was best for me.

I put an offer on a house and it was accepted. But it's a short sale, so it's a long process, and there's always the chance that it could fall through completely. Which is actually better for me. Because I have moments, like when the only way I can take my daughter outside is to take her to the park, where all the intact families are, and I think I have to get out of here. But then I have other moments, like yesterday, when I got hit with the realization that Dan carried me over that threshold, when I think I can never leave. I wish I could just take my condo unit and put it some place with a yard. But if had the power to make wishes come true, we wouldn't be in this situation. The short sale waiting period works because when I feel the urge to move I think, well I've got this option lined up, and when I feel panicked about moving I just tell myself, don't worry, it could always fall through. It's going to be emotionally difficult to move. But then I think, what could be harder than this?

Huge decision I am 46 months into this journey and the lock box went out the house yesterday and first lookers coming today at 11am. I've had many conversations with our daughter, closest friends, our Deacon about staying or leaving; what if my Tim came home and couldn't find me (yes I still struggle with maybe it's just a bad dream?); but it's time for me to find something much smaller with little yard work and more time to spend with our 1 year old grand daughter, plus I'm 62 and still work fulltime.

So take your time with your decision and you'll do what works for you.

As I have stated I have just moved and have enjoyed the new house.  I
remember my dad retiring ay sixty-two and I would like to do the same.
 It is hard for people to face everything alone. but over the last
couple decades I think the economy has not been a friend to a
widow(er).

Without being political I was wondering how some of you folks think
about the economy vs. widowed.

- Dave

It sucks david1980.  I went from two incomes (my SSI & his SSDI) to just my income was a big adjustment.  We didn't have insurance so learning to live on one income has been an experience to say the least.  I am thankful my son lives with me and helps with the bills now that he is working.  We just learn to live the best we can without over spending and deciding what is necessary vs. what is now a luxury.  We have learned that somethings are just not as important now and to appreciate what we have.  Life is too short and learning to create a new normal and/or chapter is really a new adventure.

After my wife died, I was alone in an 1800 sq foot condo. Some time later I met a lady who had been widowed. She also had a house about that size, but had a huge mortgage. She had the house up for sale but the market tanked and the 2 offers she had fell out.

When we married we moved to a 1400 sq ft new home-no memories for either of us. Her house finally sold and I am renting out my condo until the market improves.

As you can imagine, we each had an accumulation of stuff to get rid of, but we did.

I'm taking steps to sell the first and only house my husband and I bought in 1983. It will be 30 years in November. My youngest son was 4 weeks old. Michael died October 23, 2011. We never thought to sell it. I don't have the motivation to care for the yard anymore. It has 2 acres, flower and vegtable gardens, a pool, fruit trees, berry bushes. It's exhausting, it takes all my time and I've lost my will to keep it looking presentable.
I'll miss everything we built here. But it can't be worse than missing Michael by my side. I'm looking at a condominium in the same town to stay close to family. I wish I could feel certain this was the right move, but I have so many doubts.

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