I could lose my house. In fact, I probably will.
For the first few months after Mike died that thought kept me awake at night. It was the single biggest fear I had in that terrible, dark time. I felt like I was choking on grief, and drowning in panic. I could barely breathe when the waves of fear came over me.
I went through every channel I could find to try and keep it. I was constantly calling the banks and talking to different people. I filled out so many forms and applications my head was spinning. I found a wonderful local nonprofit to mediate for me and pestered my attorney with questions and freaked out every time I got some disturbing letter in the mail. I have a stack of paperwork about two feet high from it all and that is no exaggeration.
My conscience did not like living here and not paying the mortgage, but I will be honest with you - my particular situation is so long and twisted, and the banks (yes, Bank of America until they - surprise, surprise - sold the loan in the midst of the process) are so stupid and impersonal and impossible to deal with that I don't even care about that anymore. The left hand NEVER knows what the right hand is doing and I'm tired of it all. So I'm going to live here until I can't anymore and they can go you-know-where. When we finally go to court for the foreclosure; when the banks finally move on that, I will be there to fight it. But if there is no reasonable alternative offered, I will probably just let it go and be at peace with that.
My dear friend and fellow widow Margaret texted me this morning that even though she loves her house, it's no longer a home, just a house, because her Dave's not in it.
I texted back I know exactly what she means. It feels so strange here now.
I've tried to make it my home. My stepdaughters and I went through his things months ago; his bedroom is now my art studio/office. I've moved furniture around and redecorated a little. But this is the house we bought together when we moved to Hawaii in 2001. It was our home for 12 years.
In many ways it will always feel like our home...even though there is no our anymore. I am reminded of him constantly no matter what changes I make. The wall where his poster used to hang. That corner where his bookshelf used to be. The patch of grass he used to walk back and forth to his archery target. His bathroom. Some days those thoughts are comforting; some days I find myself lost in memories, staring at the cupboard where his things used to be stored, remembering. Some days now, that brings a smile.
Other days it is only tears, and I wonder how I will ever find peace and happiness in a new future with all these memories staring me in the face every day.
I don't know what will happen to me, but for the first time I'm ok with that. Don't get me wrong - the thought of moving out makes me extremely sad, and that will be a very difficult day, when it comes, for all the memories I will leave behind. But in the end, I truly do not care if I lose it, because I will just choose to believe that will be the right time for me to take the next step in my own life, whatever that may be.