Monday, February 20, 2012


After two weeks living in my new place, my new city, my new life, I am feeling at peace most of the time. The anguish of living in "our" house has lifted. My new life matches the new me a little better.
I'm meeting wonderful new people and finding new ways to heal. I've been sleeping through the night more often, a reflection of the peace I've been able to create for myself here.

Every time I think of the pain I felt while making the decision to sell the house and the actual moving process, I feel my mind shut down a little. I think that is its protective way of allowing me to forget just how bad that pain was. I remember it being painful but I don't remember exactly how that pain felt, viscerally. Thank god.

I am learning more than ever that we make of a situation what we want to. We manifest so much by the mindset we take on and that it is within our control to find the good in the bad.

But I can read about how I felt during this heart-wrenching time. I found a draft of a post I was going to work on and then publish but forgot about in the chaos of the move. I must have written it about four weeks ago. Reading it now is a good reminder of how sometimes my mind can be so convincing. It's in my power to make it convince me of good, instead of bad. Thankfully, during the pain, I held on to what, somewhere deep within me, I knew was right for me even though I was scared down to my bones.

Because now I'm where I need to be. As hard as it was. As much as it hurt and as much as I risked, I trusted in myself and I'm glad I did.

Here's the entry I wrote:

I've uncovered a new level of my feelings about selling the house. There was an offer. A good offer. And I accepted. Getting an offer I wanted on a house that's been on the market for one month is not something I think I can pass up. It's just that now I have a month to clear out. Eleven years' worth of a life, Dave's life and my life, to sift through and somehow put in two categories. Keep or let go of.
I've had to let go of so much already. I'm so tired of letting go.
But, I can't back out now. I have to confront this. I have to let go. Letting go is the lesson I have to learn. Over and over.
One of the things I've been feeling recently, that I was just able to identify, is how sorry I am that I'm letting go of our house. I feel like I'm letting Dave down. That house was our pride and joy. It was filled with love and light and comfort. And he helped to make it that way and now I'm giving it up to someone else. Am I giving up on it? I feel like apologizing to Dave.
I know that I'll carry his love, our love, in me no matter where I go. I know that the house is just stuff. Sticks, bricks, siding, furniture, not our actual beings or our actual love.
But when I let the feelings come, that's what surfaces. I feel sorry. I feel like I've let Dave down. I feel like I'm giving up something too wonderful to ever find again. I guess I'm worried I'll never have that peace again. And the house is just the physical representation of that.
Nothing changes the fact that a BIG house on 12 acres is not something I want to try to deal with on my own. That kind of isolation might be great for someone who is settled, but I'm just no longer settled. I'm finding my way in a whole new life. I have to let go. I am not married anymore. Accepting that is heart breaking.

There have been several moments since I've moved out that have made me imagine Dave rooting for me proudly. I can just see him pumping his fist in the air and yelling, "THAT'S what you're capable of! I KNEW it!"

I think he'd respond to those words I wrote in a dark time, "Don't be sorry. Don't you dare. You did what you needed to do and I'm so proud of you".

So I'm not sorry. I didn't let him down. I didn't let us down. I make him proud and, even more importantly, I make myself proud.


  1. Thank you for this post...I am doing the same thing you did...packing up 28 years of our life and it has hit me harder than I ever dreamed possible...I hope that when I settle in my new space that I too, will feel at peace...thanks for the glimmer of hope!

  2. Yes, letting go is the lesson we all must learn. We have to let go of the life we had, the life we planned, and move on. I've just let go of the retirement boat, we should be on it right now, but that dream is no longer, the captain is gone. I'm right behind you in the move from the house we built, finding it oh so difficult, too, always apologizing to him about the decision to sell the house and move on, but knowing he would say "do what you gotta do".

    Letting go over and over, I can get over the "stuff", but letting go of him will take forever. Thanks, Cassie, for sharing how you do it. It does help to know that if you can do it, so can I.

  3. Thank you Cassie for a great post full of encouragement! So many times over the last two years, I have doubted decisions I have made and wondered if my loving husband would be proud or distressed. I finally concluded that all he want for us is to be happy in whatever shape or form that takes.

    I am still in my house but have recently given much thought to moving. It scares me just thinking about it. To those who have made this leap, I offer my respect and congratulations!

  4. It is scary, scary, scary to make these decisions! I did it in May of last year. Just couldn't take care of the house and the land and the pool and...just everything. Sold his brand new tent trailer that he only ever got to take out once. He loved that damn thing. I still have a storage facility with stuff in it, but I'll get to it eventually. One of the hardest things to do was to let go of two of the large dogs we had together. I just couldn't give them enough exercise or attention. One of them alone out-weighed me and together, forget about it. Found them wonderful homes...but still feel a bit guilty about it. They were our babies.

    I've also been able to find peace in letting go. It isn't easy, but it was right for me and it's so nice to hear it was right for you. Also had those times when I felt like I let him down when I wasn't good enough to keep it all together, but in the end I have to believe that he would have been proud at the strength it took to at least make those decisions.

  5. Thanks so much for this post and the comments. My husband died three months ago and I am getting ready to put our house of the market. I can't take care of it and two small kids - I am terrified of going through a real Chicago winter (fortunately this has bee an easy one) and worrying about ice and snow. My husband would not want me to move - he loved this house ( I never wanted a house to begin with) and he hated change. What I realized in reading the comments is that he would have hated how beaten down I am from taking care any everything and so perhaps he would at least understand, even if he wouldn't cheer me on

  6. Beautiful! This is exactly what I've been doing, about 3 weeks ago as well. The pain during that time seemed insurmountable, and yet - when I look back at it...its true, my brain doesn't even want to remember what that felt like. It can't even comprehend the pain it has already been through. But we did it! We survived, we made ourselves proud in ways that seemed impossible! Congrats!