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!
It's been around 1 1/2 months since Kim passed. I am definitely staying in the house for a while. We rent from a friend who has been great. Plus the community is amazing and the schools are great. In the entire 3rd grade, there are only 50 kids, many who my son and I are close with the families.
Also, now that I am no longer a caregiver for my wife, I find myself with more time and need to do house projects that she wanted. Most ambitious is the wall over the stairs, she had frames and plaques sitting at the bottom for the 4 plus year we live there. She never felt up to telling me how she wanted it, and I didn't do it on my own because 1) I knew she would not like "my" way, and 2) didn't want to bang on walls when she was sleeping during the day. One day last week, I decided to go through the stuff and put it up. Weeded out some very "girly" stuff, and added some pics and frames. The enclosed pic is actually only about 2/3 of what is up now.
My other project has been the foyer on the ground level coming in from garage. Bought some shelves and benches and other decor to make it a pleasing to the eye mud-room.
As long as my owner will have me, I plan on staying in this house.
Very nice and good for you!
I like my home. It is paid off. But the large yard with mature landscape and many trees and an almost non-existent sprinkler system is something that I will one day not be able to keep up. And I really dislike yard work; my husband enjoyed it. I have made a number of upgrades since my husband passed away 10 months ago such as new windows, new toilets, new water heater, repaired his old car, and so forth. Have spent money that I never would have done if he were with me. And this is a unique property that is almost like a place of retreat. I have room for guests and so forth as well. And there are memories here. I can look over at Dan's easy chair and can almost envision him there; he spent a lot of time in that chair!
I would consider moving at some time to a smaller property with a yard I can manage but I would like another unique property if I can find one. This yard takes way too much time, energy, and water. It is lonely here without my family. I miss my husband and our sons are grown and have their own lives now. Maybe in a new place, the lonliness would not be so much?
So I think going.on.slowly said it best. The pain is there no matter what or where. If I had stayed in Florida I would have been reminded of the places my wife and I used to go to. The move to Ohio was meant for me to be with family and help that out. But it really did not and I find myself longing to go back. So it hurts - it is crushing and gut wrenching. Our hearts feel like they have been ripped out and we ask why. So in my experience relocating did not really help my loneliness situation. But this is a person by person choice. It could be different for you. Take care and warm regards ...
Hello. New member here. I was widowed suddenly in Fall of 2004 at the age of 46. I grappled with this decision...to stay or move...every year. I did the usual Pros/Cons list making. I remembered something my fabulous grief counselor told me, way back when things were much rougher. The gist of her advice was to ask myself this question...Did I feel like going through the moving process ? A simple Yes or No. Year after year, the answer was a resounding No. I continue to live in the same house we bought as newlyweds. It is a modest size home, low priced at purchase time, paid off well before my husband passed, easy to maintain, with a lot of improvements having happened since the original move in date, while he was with me. I am not originally from the local area. That has proved to be a bit of a personal ordeal over the years. Close couple friends disappeared, his family was awful...the usual BS. HOWEVER...owning the decision to move or stay put has always belonged to me. Nobody else. And...this is important...I would never release the ownership of the decision about where I live. I have arranged for snow plowing service, since I live in the snow belt SE of Lake Ontario in upstate NY. If something else beyond my abilities needs to be done, I will contract it out. When I feel that it is too much to deal with, I will move to some sort of rental unit that allows pets. Not really possible in this area without having to deal with not-so-great neighbors. I have always had a dream of living on a small lake. If I can find rental property where there is very little to do on my own, then I will do that. In the meantime, my feeling is if it ain't broken, I ain't gonna fix it. In other words, I like my property and house. Enough time has gone by that the memories and feelings of being alone are less intense. They still exist but are more manageable. :)
I moved about 5 months after my husband passed. I had many reasons to move. We had moved to a one bedroom condo so that he could move around easier than the huge home that we had. I would have never been able to take care of that house - no way and we moved there to retire in that retirement town not necessarily the house. So after moving 2 hours away to be near my sister while David was ill we bought a condo. But after he died I was okay for awhile but then couldn’t be there without crying constantly. It was causing me so much stress I developed hypoglycemia and that’s the opposite of diabetes. By the way, I still have it. My sugar dropped to 53 last night. I get sick if it drops below 70.
Anyway, I saw a 2 bedroom condo online that had been completely remodeled in December and 5 days after seeing it I closed. I am fortunate enough to be able to have the old condo, that I do not live in anymore, on the market but pay cash for this one. That does not leave me much reserve but I’m fine - just no spending sprees. I am going to have to go to work to make it as my husband was not retirement age (56) and I’m 51 now. So I am going to school. For me a condo is the way to go because you pay an HOA fee and your homeowners insurance and basically if everything is in good order you won’t have much to worry about. I did have $1000 done to the home that I wanted done and I had the person I bought the home from to fix everything that was not perfect on the home inspection. There is no way I could take care of a home even at 51. I just cannot - especially knowing soon I will live on my own (my son and his wife are living with me for 1 year because I’m having a hard time adjusting), and I will have to go to work.
I believe that waiting for the 1 year mark is like for moving far away, changing a job, or throwing things out. However, I also think everyone needs to do what is right for them. Each situation is different. My therapist warned me not to make any changes till the one year mark - but when I told her I had bought the condo she was glad I was near my friends (we raised our kids here in this city), my kids, and my in-laws. I have no family that I was raised with. My two brothers committed suicide and my parents are gone. I have 2 sisters that I was not raised with at all. Did not know them until I was an adult. So I moved here to be near my support system, and I was told that was a good move.
Now, maybe you can afford to take care of a large home for a while and moving is not the right thing for you. I would talk with someone as moving is a big chore. Take some real thought to it. Pros and Cons list. Suggestions from others.
So interesting to see how others have handled the moving/not moving.
Yesterday I turned 77 and have been alone 8 years and have done very little in the house because of physical limitations etc. Last summer I fell and broke a shoulder and now am looking at another knee replacement. My love was able to do a lot of work in the house but time was a factor for him as he worked 6 days a week and then we had to go help his mother a lot. So our house got neglected.
It is arranged well - as the kitchen, dinning room, living room, bedroom and bathroom are on the 1st floor, there are 2 bedrooms, bathroom and den upstairs which were great when we had company. Now I am alone and only a son that comes maybe 1 x a year so I do not need the space and taking care of a 1 acre yard to mow and long drive way to plow. I have found people to pay to do these but it has been next to impossible to get handymen in to do the other work in the house.
I have a real estate person coming tomorrow to give me an idea of what absolutely has to be done and what I can do to sell it "as is"
In some ways I dread moving but I have no family here and limited friends and activities so there isn't much keeping me here. Like some others have said the "downsizing" is a big problem - over the years so many things -collected us - :) and need to be sorted and cleared out.
Thanks for listening, just needed to talk .
I have a friend who is in a similar boat as you. She is a few years older; she's 85 but fully mobile. Her husband died a year ago and she is considering what to do. Her daughter wants her to move closer, but she doesn't want to be a burden and she wants her own life and to make her own decisions without her daughter butting in.
Since I am looking ahead 10-15 years to try and figure out what I will want to do (I have a 2-story house on a hill that I fell in love with, without thinking about the future), I'm going with her to look at places, and I'm taking a class about senior living options and touring some CCRCs and independent living places.
Can you stay in your current community? Are you looking to move closer to your son?
One thing I can tell you about the things that collected you over the years is that ultimately all stuff is just stuff. I am always looking to see what I can part with and I always keep a box of things to take to the thrift shop.
Let us know how your thoughts develop.
Moving after 1 year to another unit here at the continuing care community.
It was a very big decision, but feel it is right.