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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."

While I know you don't know me well, I do know, you know grief. I'm in my 5th month of saying goodbye to my husband Marty, after 47 years marriage, and know he's in heaven Yet, I cannot always hear him or God.

Marty always was excited when it came to buy a new car. He was always so much more decisive and I counted on him for that. I even know which model he wanted me to get next because we weren't in agreement. I'd told him, we'd have to compromise on next one. His selection would have been wonderful because he was a car guy - owned a couple of exotic cars, a couple of classic cars, and many many "daily drivers." Term car enthusiasts often use.

Knowing we narrowed our choice of models, ahead of my lease ending in July, I went to the dealer, who happened to have in the 2 models Marty and I were talking about. BUT Marty and I never talked about colors. :(

I love red but I'm afraid it might cause too much of a trigger in me - in 1992 Marty surprised in with a brand new red car, one I saw on a TV ad and fell in love with as much as a non-car person at the time, could fall in love with a car. He had my day planned out and I never suspected to walk into a house with about 20 or 30 people and a new red car in the back year.

I also love this more recent color of my last car, a beautiful grey. It's not a metallic paint which this red is, and makes it harder to touch up easily. In my mind, it is the LAST color of a car we planned together.

I'm trying best to avoid most triggers which can have me pull off the side of the road, to stop my sobbing so I can drive safely. Do you know what I mean? Less often now, but they still happen, I have anxiety attacks.

What are your thoughts on either 1) HOW to select the best color (No I don't want white, black, tan or blue -tried all them in other cars.)  or 2) WHICH color might have less trigger for me?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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It's sensible to avoid triggers that ambush you when you're driving, but when you're in a safe environment triggers can also be useful for managing your grief. I used to seek triggers out so that I could sit with them sobbing until that particular corner of sobbing was done, my thinking was the more I faced the triggers on my terms the less chance I had of them flooring me when I was out and about.  I mention this because if you love red then one option would be to spend some time focusing on red cars to pull that trigger yourself, maybe look at pictures of them and think about the car you used to have and stay with that pain until it burns itself out, then see how you feel about having a red car then.

I wouldn't go as far as actively recommending this approach, it's quite a brutal thing to do to yourself and only you can judge whether it's something that you want to try or not. You might decide that you'd be better putting that battle to one side for now at least and going for the grey car instead.

I hope that helps


Thank you Patrick. Yes, useful. 

Inside, my suggestion isn't going to be what you want to hear but I suggest holding off on picking out a new car for a little bit longer.  I mean, you don't have to pick out something Marty would love.  You matter too, you are here in the now.  I have a feeling that if you are happy then Marty will be too, even if you want a purple car with pink metallic flakes and lime green pin stripes and orange interior!  Of course I'm sure he'd think you flipped your lid but still, it sounds like he wanted you to have your heart's desire.  I hope you give yourself a little more time to find YOU!  

I also think it's impossible to avoid car type triggers.  Jerry drove a white Tahoe or a white Dodge dully or a Chevy Silverado.  I never noticed so many of those exact trucks on the road until now.  It's like a knife to the heart each time I see one and he isn't sitting in the drivers seat.

As for practical advice from someone who isn't a car person... I think different colors look better on different cars.  At the moment, I'm partial to that pearl white color I've been seeing so much.  I also like that gun metal color.  It's what you really like that matters.  Don't worry about touch, get what you love and if you need a touch up here and there then let the auto shop ppl worry about getting it right!  :)

Rainy I wish I could wait. The lease ends in June. I always buy a new car (we each did) and it takes 3 months to get a new one so, I don't have a lot of time to find ME. I wish I had that luxury. 

You do say something that helps though - Jerry's car models and colors on the road. Marty has a Jeep Rubicon. For now per recommendation from grief counselor, estate attorney and financial advisor, "No major decisions for at least a year."  While I'm waiting of course I have to drive the Jeep and I see plenty of them on the road. Only one of them, very early on, brought me to tears. The others I do the mutual Jeep "wave" to the driver! Actually funny. 

Your loss is still so recent, I understand how making decisions can be very hard. Dealing with grief made me feel insecure, uncertain and confused much of the time. I would try to think what would he do, what would he like, etc.  It takes a little time and getting used to but we must make choices based upon what we know and like. I think whatever you decide will be just fine. If color is the only issue, select one that you like. Once you begin making your own decisions, it wiil become easier. You can do it!

Callie2 I don’t see much flexibility in the whole process. Pick a color and move on. Seems that is where I’m at. Thanks


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