Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Well, I'm beginning to panic. Today I got a call from the San Diego Superior Family Court, wanting to get a couple of references. Sounds like things may be going my way. Of course, my supervisor said she may just sabotage things so she can keep me from leaving. And in talking to my retirement office, it looks like I won't be quiting my job, I will be retiring from my job. Apparently, at 51, with 21 years in, I qualify for a service retirement. Now I am definitely feeling old. But, as long as getting old comes with a monthly check attached to it, I'm all for it. Now what did I do with that AARP card that came in the mail?

My house is a complete wreck, as I am quickly boxing every thing, getting ready for new carpeting to get laid down, and painting to get done the following week. I'm also getting a second opinion from another realtor, as I want to be sure I am happy with which direction I choose to go.

Throughout the weekend the kids kept catching me staring off into space as I was boxing various items. They kept asking if I was alright. "Yes, I'm fine. Just thinking." The honest response should have been that I am beginning to freak out a bit. There is so much to do, and very little time to get it done. And in between speeding through this process, I am feeling the weight of this decision.

I keep reminding myself about the words to the song that is my current ring tone, "A House is not a Home." I know this is a good decision for me and the kids, but my insecurities are being played out a bit. "Am I ready for this? Will I be walking away from Michael?" Most of the time I have my answer to these questions. Michael will be going with me of course. He is not in this house, he is within me. He is in the memories of the things that make up our bedroom, the things we shared, the love in my heart. I will be taking all of these things with me. Yet still, it is making me sad, bringing me to tears. This is where he died. This is where our memories are.

I need to work through this, and fast. I need to come to peace with these insecurities, as there will be no turning back. Even if there was, I wouldn't allow myself to turn back. It's not my nature.

You know, I'm a bit thrown off tonight. I was feeling so humorous last night, and now I sit here emotionally wrecked. Go figure. I'm going to stay with these feelings tonight. Somehow I know I have to feel this. I'm not going to rush myself through this. It's going to emotionally draining, but it's not something I can rush through or side step. I know enough about my grief at this point to recognize that I will get through it. I will be okay. Maybe not tonight, but tomorrow things will look, and feel, much different. I can trust in my process.


  1. Dan, I think you're going to do just fine with all of this. Good luck with the job. Sounds like things are getting serious. I hope that happens for you.

    I know things are feeling pretty rushed with getting the house ready to put on the market, but things will probably fall into place as you go along. If you're hiring people in to do some of the work, they'll get everything done in time. It will just happen. That's how these things go.

    As for leaving the house, I think you're going to find that it's not that difficult once you're a bit further along in this process -- maybe have your job in place and have found a nice house to move into. You won't be feeling like you're leaving anything important behind or walking away from the past and your memories. Instead, it will be more like you're walking towards something new and exciting, bringing the best of your memories with you - and now in a position to make some pleasant new memories.

    Yes, "trust" is a key word here. Trust that the intellectual side of you is making the right decision for your situation - that you think the new job will be energizing, that the kids will like being in SD, and that you'll have a much better support system down there, and that you can pick and choose when it comes to finding a new place. You'll be able to search for the kind of place that Michael and you dreamed of retiring to. If all of the above is what you think you want, then just go for it with no need to look back. I expect you already know what Michael would think of your planned move. He'd probably be excited and all for it. That's how I've felt about every decision I've made since Don died. I know he didn't want me to stay put forever, keeping our house like some kind of museum or shrine. In fact, before he died, he encouraged me to go to some place where I would find people more like myself -- which is exactly what I've done. While I don't live my life trying to do what I think Don would have wanted me to do, I try to imagine what he would have thought or said about some of the places I've traveled and lived. I'm sure he would have been elated. I think your heart will let you know what's best for you and your kids - and Michael is going to be right there with you on this new adventure. I'm guessing this is going to be a pretty exciting time for all of you.

  2. The being widowed magnifies the feelings of moving, retiring that people have anyway. It's normal.

    And you are correct. You do not leave people behind. Everyone whose left their imprint comes along no matter where you go.

    My husband likes to joke that if we were to move it's likely that our ghosts (his late wife and my late husband to name a few of the spirits who bump around in our night) would probably come with us.

    I sold my house at 15 months out, resigned from the school district I'd taught in for twenty years and moved to Canada from Iowa. There were moments, but it was the right direction for me and my daughter and now three years on, I can't imagine having done anything else.