Today I took a big step forward into my future with out Dan and bought a house. Even as I type that, oh so casually, I can’t really believe it. It’s not a very big or fancy house, it’s a small, modest home in a quiet suburb with an established, reliable tenant.
I plan to rent it out as a long-term investment rather than live in it and the financial burden won’t be too extravagant, but still… I took a big, grown up, scary step all on my own, without my husband to back me up.
When Dan died two years ago and my future plans were ripped away, I wasn’t in a position to think about any big picture stuff like a retirement plan. Hell, I wasn’t even able to make decisions about what to eat for lunch for a long time! But as the past 26 months or so have slowly ticked over, I’ve slowly started to feel able to look past my immediate future and think about some long-term plans again.
We widows know all too well how quickly life can change and not knowing what the future held has crippled me from taking any gambles, even a relatively safe one. As has the knowledge that I’m no longer one of a pair, but have to make the big decisions on my own.
There’s no one to back me up if I get sick or lose my job… there’s no one to halve the risk with or bounce the pros and cons off. I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful family who came to look at houses with me and sat with me for moral support while I negotiated a purchase price, but at the end of the day, I was doing it alone – the commitment was mine alone and my name is the only one on the contract.
Tonight, I feel… calm. I feel proud of myself for taking a brave step towards building a better future for myself. This is something I wouldn’t have been able to do a few months ago. The pain of knowing Dan should be by my side through a big life-choice like buying a property would have been too much to bear. But as I stood on my own two feet today, I felt sturdy and strong.
And I feel empowered, like my confidence has grown. One of my personal goals through my grief journey was to become more bold and I feel like I did that today. There are (hopefully) many more big life decisions and milestones still ahead of me, and tonight I feel like I’m going to be ok.