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Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.

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

I am not sure if this is how I add a blog post, but here it goes.


It is five months now since Len died. I am still in a fog much of the time, and I can't believe it has been five months already. I feel like I am just existing, and not really living.

Lately I have been thinking more about moving. I know the experts say to wait at least a year before making any big changes, but it has been on my mind a lot lately. I have been browsing the realtor website and even drove by a few homes that are for sale. The reason I need to downsize is to pay off our HELOC, which is about $87K. The only reason we even had the stupid thing was because we were stupid with our money and with credit cards and used the HELOC to pay them off, not once but twice. We also put two used vehicles on it rather than take out higher interest car loans. I am somewhat bitter over the whole thing because it was mainly Len that was bad with money and credit cards, but I allowed it to happen. I always figured we would share the repayment, but now he is dead and the whole burden falls to me. He also had more credit card debt when he died, but thank goodness my name was not on the accounts, and the credit card companies are just going to have to be out of luck. I am not paying them with my money. I have the money to pay out the HELOC, but then I would be left with no savings for retirement.

He also hadn't filed his taxes for about six years, and he was a contractor so he owed taxes for all those years. I am going to have to pay them out of the life insurance money. So much for the life insurance being there to help me out in the coming years. It is all going to the government. I just hope it will be enough. My lawyer said I have to pay them or the govt. can come after the house. blah.

The other big change that I am contemplating is a job change. My current job is sucking the soul out of me. I am a bookkeeper for a car rental agency, and if you are Canadian you have no doubt heard about Budget in Vancouver. Well, my company is headed in much the same direction. It just goes against my ethics. I can't stand working there, but who is going to hire a 53 year old, fat,  grey haired widow? The other thing is the golden handcuffs as they call them. I am fairly well paid for a bookkeeper, and I have to support myself now. I don't have a husband for a safety net.

I would really like to just work for myself and do books from home, but that takes time to build up a clientele, and I don't want to use up my savings while building a business. If I am very good with my money I am hoping to semi-retire in about 7 years, when I am 60. So do I just keep on at my soul-sucking job, or do I make a change. And if so, what?

I'm not sure if I should be posting all this stuff, but it feels good to get it out, and I have no-one to talk to about it

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Comment by Lisa ( Marielee) on May 9, 2013 at 7:35pm

I have moved three times  and changed jobs twice ( same company - transfer new postion and town) I know what everyone recommends but for me they were absolutely the right choices. I am in a good place now and finding happiness again.I think you need to do what feels right. Search your heart and trust your instincts and most decisions can be undone or changed. a suggestion.... what if you cut back your hours to partime and take some time to work on building up a clientile so you can work towards building a business from home. It is very difficult to find the energy it takes to heal through grief when your life is being sucked out of you by you having to do something every day that doesn't feel right. Sending you ((( hugs))) and love as you navigate this difficult time. It does get better , I promise:)

Comment by dazed on May 8, 2013 at 6:00pm

I moved to a different town, bought a new house and changed jobs at 16 months out.  I don't know how I did it but I did.  I was 60 and so blessed to find a good job.  I never thought I'd be able to find a job at 60.  I could have never moved forward if I'd stayed in the same town and home.  He was very well known in the community and it just didn't feel the same after he passed away.  Too many reminders that he was not there.  I was isolated where we lived with no close neighbors. I moved to be closer to family.  It was the right decision for me.  

Comment by lizbeth4 on May 8, 2013 at 5:23pm

There is a lot to think about.  I keep hearing not to make any major changes for a year.  My Husband passed away 57 days ago and I did make a major purchase, a new suv.  But I have no regrets about it.  Also, I am waiting till September (6 months out) to make my decision whether I want to stay in the condo we lived in for 20 years, or to sell it and buy another one.  I sat down yesterday and paid all the medical bills, what was left after our health insurance paid.  Some of them I was able to get negogiate down from the orginal amount.  I had put off doing this for some time, but in the end it was a relief to get it over with.  I think we have to do what we feel is right for us. 

Comment by Lisa (lost) Lamb on May 5, 2013 at 8:01pm

So many things to think about now that we are on our own. I to have been thinking about moving but for very different reasons. This month it will be 2 years sense my husband passed and I'm now thinking I will never be able to completely move forward while I'm still in the house we built and shared. I've already quit my job because I just couldn't stand to walk in there everyday. We all need to build our own lives now so follow your heart and do what's best for you.

Comment by Pat on May 5, 2013 at 4:46am

What very deep soul-searching you are doing!  Moving - yes, I wonder about that too.  I think I need to move where there are people!  Giving up your job security at your age - very difficult decision.  I will be naive and ask is there anything like social security in Canada?  I left my job and now my pension and my husband's social security allows me to be okay to survive.  Best wishes in these difficult decision times.  You may certainly unload all your anguish here.  We all understand that each story needs support and compassion.  Pat

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