One question that I have seen quite a bit in various widow’s groups is “should I sell the house and start fresh?” Everyone seems to have an opinion on the topic. Some say yes. Some say no. Some say they would but circumstances don’t allow it.
Right out of the chute, I didn’t think that I would want to sell our home. I had a really great support system at the time, and I was very much in love with the little town which I called home.
I did, however, think that I might need a break from those four walls, so I opted for a trip about five hours northeast, to where I used to live, and where my family still lived.
I had only been home just a small handful of times before this visit, and honestly, I was missing it. I never thought I ever would; I had fought tooth and toenail to be able to leave nearly ten years before. But you know what they say, “home is where the heart is” and part of mine was still there.
I was pretty torn, but soon some drama started to rear its ugly head – as it often does after a death. And little by little, some of my support system started fading away.
Mind you, this was only about one month out.
Yes, after one teeny tiny month, things started going south.
I had heard that giving yourself a specific amount of time before making big decisions as a widow was a good idea and I had initially chosen what I had determined to be the bare minimum of three months.
But there I was at the one-month mark longing for my old home, and wanting to run away from all that was going wrong at my current home.
There was a lot to weigh out.
That was the house in which my husband had died.
We were super comfortable in our neighborhood and house.
I had a lot of friends there and even though some of them had started drifting away, I still had plenty more.
But then again, I would have friends and family back home as well. My daughter could actually get to know my family better, as she’d had limited time with them before.
It could be a new start in a home in which my husband hadn’t (content warning) ended his life.
The drama that was making my life hell would be, at least somewhat, left behind.
After yet another trip back to eastern Oregon, I made my decision.
I decided to place my house up for sale and move back to my former home.
My house sold relatively quickly.
A beloved uncle and my dad helped to get my belongings moved across the state, creating a bunch of fun memories for my daughter and me, during a really tough time. I still chuckle when I look at a photo of my uncle cutting an oven pizza with a pair of scissors because my knives were all packed up.
Sometimes I lament the house and town that I left behind but know it was the right decision.
I do question that decision from time to time, but I truly believe that I am meant to be right where I am, at present. I don’t long to leave here anymore like I used to. I have complaints about this place, but nowhere is totally perfect.
Like my mom says, “you have to bloom where you’re planted.” And I seem to be planted right here.
So for me, moving was the right choice. It was a painful one, but necessary.
For others, staying put (blooming where you’re planted?) is the right call.
This is an entirely personal decision and it may not be right for everyone.
But this is a perspective from someone who opted to take the plunge and move away following the death of their spouse.
If you are on the fence about this, perhaps this is your sign?
Whatever you choose – if this is even a consideration for you – trust yourself to know that however you lean, it is the right decision.
I am honestly very glad that I chose the way I did.
In my case, there was no place like home.
Has anyone else made the choice to move? To stay? I’d love to know your thoughts!
(Photo from The Wizard of Oz, via CNN.)