For me the decision to move home after my husband died was a crystal clear necessity. I was eighteen months into widowhood, was living in a neighbourhood that the council had put me in following legal homelessness and I was keen to return to our old neighbourhood. Friends, support and schools were of importance as my family lived about hundred and fifty miles away from us. After a nine month search for an affordable home I got one – perfectly located and near to friends. I was very happy and had no regrets leaving sad and painful memories behind in a home that was of no sentimental value to me. I had last seen him there and I had received the news of his death there. I had spent far too long there. There was nothing to hold onto and I was glad to move.
But almost immediately problems surfaced at my new home. In the first fecking week and I am sadly ten months into looking for a new home again. One where we can actually feel safe and supported. I was devastated to have to put energy and money back into the home search – it was such an upheaval the first time when I was itching to move. But as I am sure most widowed people will identify – the need for security, peace, no drama and no upheaval are incredibly important to healing the trauma. Stress certainly of losing a spouse or significant other in life. A home needs to be a sanctuary and whilst ours promised so much and is better than what we had, it has fallen far short in meeting our needs of basic mental health and rest.
So a home search in 2020 continues. It can be utterly frustrating when your current position only allows for so much. We always rented as a couple – large houses – lovely areas. Something I would struggle to afford currently on the pension I get with a need for a three bedroom place. I am grateful that I am not homeless of course and also grateful that I am not living in a private place worrying about meeting a mortgage or rent payments on my own. I pay my rent here affordably and I can survive. I need that security and so do my children.
But to move from a home where you have wonderful memories? I think it is all subjective and relative to the widowed person. The good parts may outweigh the bad. However it is important to think that memories we carry with us are in our minds and hearts. Not in bricks and mortar. So if you feel that your life would blossom by letting go of a property give it careful consideration. Moving locations if it makes sense in terms of support and welfare also – a memory cannot feed us or pay the bills. It can’t help us LIVE in the now. For us moving was beneficial even if we may have to make another move yet again in order to find a good community and a safe haven to heal in.
A reader of mine wrote a lovely post about one of my own posts and in turn it spurred me onto write this.
Let me know your thoughts!