Sunday, November 18, 2012

Today, I Shall Celebrate

Source - A friend posted this on facebook

Today I am celebrating.

Today is 1 year since I made a life changing decision.

Today, 1 year ago, I bought my new house.

The day Seth died, I knew I didn't want to live in our house anymore.

I took my counselors advise, and waited for the 1 year sadiversary to make any life changing decisions.

3 months before the 1 year sadiversary hit, I suddenly had the strangest thing happen. I would be sleeping and I would wake up in middle of the night. I would sit up in bed, terrified, and not have the slightest clue where I was. I would get up and turn on the light, and stand in our bedroom, terrified, confused, and even with the light on, I had no clue where I was.

I lived in our house for 11 years, and I suddenly had no clue where I was.

It was one of the scariest times I have ever faced. To be in our home, scared, and not knowing where I was.

It was a horrible feeling. That went on for 3 months.

I finally came to the conclusion that I was no longer home. I was in a strange, scary place, that I didn't want to be in.

As soon as the 1 year mark hit, I was out looking for a house.

I looked at 2 houses. When I walked into the 3rd house, I stood in the doorway, not even seeing the house yet, and started crying. After a year, I was finally home. It didn't matter to me what the house looked like, I was home. (Luckily the house was cute and didn't need much work!).

I made an offer on it that night. After my friends and family came to look at the house, and I had made my offer, I sat in my car in the driveway and cried. I didn't want to turn around and go “home” when I was already home. I didn't want to spend one more second in our home.

I still dragged myself to our home, and waited for all the real estate transactions to happen.

I remember sitting on the floor in our home, looking around, thinking “I have lived here for 11 years?? It doesn't feel like I ever lived here.”

Our house had become an empty shell of a house. It felt so empty and cold.

Our home was no longer my home.

Finally closing day came. I closed on November 18th, 2011.

I went and signed all the paperwork, and got the keys to my home.

I drove to our home after.

It was snowing, and when I pulled into our drive way, I sat in my car. I didn't want to go inside. I debated about getting a sleeping bag and sleeping on the floor in my house until I could get moved.

Through my tears, I looked at our front door, and there it was. A huge (about the size of a  baseball), orange, monarch butterfly was on our front door.

(Back story, when Seth died, I wrote him a letter that was cremated with him. The only thing I can remember that the letter said is “When you are thinking of me, send me an orange butterfly”).

When I saw the butterfly, I was angry. How dare someone play this kind of joke on me??

It’s middle of November, snowing outside, of course the butterfly was fake!

As I started walking up to our front door, the butterfly started moving, and then flew away.

I was in complete shock.

That was when I knew, without a doubt, I had just made the best decision for myself.

I knew it was time for me to go, and I never looked back.

I have never once regretted the move.

Moving out of our home and into my home, was a turning point in my grief.

I never felt like I was abandoning my memories that our house kept.

I knew that my brain and heart kept my memories of Seth and our life together.

A house did not keep those memories.

I often times forget that I spent 11 years living somewhere else. It feels like I have lived in my house my whole life. When I am reminded that I haven’t lived in my house my whole life, I get a major case of whiplash.

I haven’t had the problem of waking up and not knowing where I am since I moved.
I wake up in middle of the night, and know exactly where I am.
I feel safe and at home.

On a bad day, I want to run to my safe place.
My comfort.
My home.

One of my favorite songs is - I’m coming home, by Diddy Dirty Money.
In the song there is a verse that says “is a house really a home when your loved ones are gone?”

Without a doubt, buying my house is one of the best things I have done for myself since Seth’s death.

If you are struggling with this decision, remember a house does not hold your memories.

Your brain and heart hold those memories.

As long as you have those two, you will always have your memories. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this...Im so glad that you found your proper path where the "home" issue is concerned. I am doing really well with lots of complex decisions but I know it will be hard to decide when to leave "our" home.

    For a long time, this house symbolized things about my husband that I found aggravating. The 18 months before he bought it, he was living elsewhere having gone off into a very emotionally violent midlife crisis. The kids and I stayed in our former home and waited for his darkness to dissipate and him to return but when he did, he didnt just come home, NOOOOOOO, he bought a huge house a few miles away (having pretty much made the decision on his own) and for about 2 months we flirted with financial disaster with 4 mortgages had anything untoward happened. To stay afloat, I had to ready the old house for sale and sell it myself, which I did, alone which is how I did most things in the wake of his crisis.

    18 months later, a job change was necessary and rather then get a job he decided to start a business but we had 2 kids in college and my income couldnt touch our expenses...I told him "I would have been fine with EITHER thing you wanted a big house or starting a business, but you cant have both!" The house nearly sunk us during that time but he did make it work (likely out of sheer terror of proving me right), but the house felt like a liability.

    Within the 2 years before he died, our adult sons had to return home and one brought his little family with him was good that we had enough space for everyone to live. While is it true that we flirted with financial doom to buy this house, it all worked out fine and he had the satisfaction of having bought a "dream house" for his family...I had no idea he would die so young and all the time I assumed we had in the future to accomplish these kinds of goals disappeared in an instant. It is really nice that now my house symbolizes for me things about my husband that were good...THAT is his legacy (not the bad stuff) but you are right that no house holds my memories, my heart does.

    Assuming my kids do launch at some point, I wont need a 6 bedroom house for myself...I do hope that time to move on is clear to me and I know that it is the right thing to do. In my head, I have sold it and not sold it a hundred times...I need to chill out and just BE for a while.