No Magic Answers

I wish there was a magical device that would tell me exactly the right decisions I should be making in my life. But there is not. Without Mike as my partner and sounding board, I feel especially in the dark about making the right choices for myself.


I feel very let down, in a way. I had thought I had made that most important decision of one’s life: who to marry. Deciding to marry Mike and commit my life to partnership with him was a huge move and it changed everything. That’s what marriage does. But now he’s gone. My husband is dead, and my marriage is no longer. So what do I do now?


The court date for the preliminary hearing about my foreclosure is scheduled for just over a day after this posts. So in a matter of hours I will know something about what the next steps will be in all of this. And it’s been heavy on my mind. It’s not been oh my God please let me keep my house so much as please help me decide what is best for me. Because I really don’t know. Should I be happy if the bank makes a reasonable deal to stay? Should I be relieved it doesn’t so I can start afresh somewhere else? Will I worry that my dogs will make it near impossible to do so? 


I’ve been talking to friends and family quite a lot. Most of them advise me not to be too attached. And I tend to agree that is a healthy way to proceed. I keep saying if it just weren’t for the dogs…the dogs the dogs the dogs…


They are my babies. They were our babies…it was Mike who brought dogs into my life; before him, I had a cat…my parents had dogs, I grew up with dogs, but having one myself didn’t happen until Mike appeared…now, of course, they are paramount. Those beautiful little spirits who want nothing more than to be within a few feet of you whatever you are doing…who want to sleep with you, who follow you around, who whine when you leave the house, who whine when you get home…how could I not have a massive love affair with these selfless creatures? I need to…I must, with all good integrity, be sure they are safe, and have a happy home for the years they have left. That must be number one in my immediate life.


Priorities. What else is on that list? My family. To be available if they need me is important. My friends. To have people to share this ride we’re on is everything. The musician…to have someone near who cares what I did that day is fundamental. And yet…


I am realizing, with all this talk about the house the house the house…where am I on this list of priorities? Now that Mike is gone I think I need to think about myself a little more, especially during this crucial intermediate period when so many big decisions are looming. Yes of course I need to think about all the people…and creatures…who love me, who care about me, who need me. And yet…


What does Stephanie want? Well, without the magical decision-making device handy, I’m having a hard time with it all. Because it’s not just about what decision is the right one, but what that list of options really is; that full long list of possibility I don’t know about.


How far outside the box should I consider? Is the grief making me want to try and stay in a place of security; a comfort zone outside of which the unknown brings uncertainty? Or am I just really lucky to even be where I am? How do I structure and guide my own life in the years I have left so I look back and feel as happy and fulfilled as I can be? Will I regret making decisions based on what I imagine will make someone else happy? Part of me would, if I could, if money or other creatures were no object, pack everything in storage and get on a plane. I know that is partly a knee-jerk form of escapism; a result of the grief; a side-effect of that now familiar spectre of death hovering over me and my own life. I would travel. I would go wherever I want and do whatever I want…


For awhile. Because I know that being somewhere else will not change what’s going on inside of me. I would probably end up back somewhere wanting to take care of someone. Having people around who want to take care of me. Having furry creatures to snuggle up to. 


But will that be here in this house in this town?


I have a lot to think about. And I need to be paying close attention to the signs and possibilities that come my way.


Showing 6 reactions

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  • Stephanie Vendrell
    commented 2016-04-28 22:52:06 -0700
    Wow Penny I’m glad there was some bit that spoke to you here…boy going through the stuff is such a huge and difficult thing to do. I’m glad you will get a little help. Sharon, you totally nailed it about “bad” decisions not necessarily being absolute…thanks for the reminder. Your confidence is appreciated…and your support, it means everything.
  • Sharon Wall
    commented 2016-04-28 22:02:42 -0700

    I would like the magical device you mention in your first paragraph, and if you find it, please, please share.

    After our fucking losses, so many decisions need to be made that are out of our comfort zone and, on one hand I hate it. On the other hand, I wonder how bad it would be if I make a “bad” decision? Can’t I change it? Go in another direction? Are there absolutes? Not likely. It’s all part of the journey, painful as it might be.

    I hope your court stuff goes as well as it can, but no mater how it goes, YOU will be okay, my friend. I’ve been following you online for quite a while now and I have confidenence you can get through this. Use your online support as needed. ❤️💔💙
  • Penny Sharman
    commented 2016-04-28 15:29:37 -0700
    I know what you mean Stephanie. I’m going through something similar but on a much much smaller scale. After a year and a half I have finally ventured into the garage which was my husband’s domain. I stood in it for about 5 minutes completely overwhelmed because I didn’t know where to start. I needed Gary to tell me what was important and what could be given away or thrown out. Your post just spoke to me. If its important to me keep it, if not get rid of it. I will get my sons-in-law over to help and give me “man” advice about tools etc but the decision is mine. If its important to me from a practical or sentimental standpoint, I’ll keep it. If not, its gone. LIke you said, we have to start thinking about us. Thanks for prod.
  • Stephanie Vendrell
    commented 2016-04-28 14:41:09 -0700
    Boy Lisa, it is really hard, as you said, to separate out what we want and what the grief is guiding. Wonder if I ever really can. And more and more I hear from so many others in similar circumstances, not sure where to go or what to do. I hope you find some calm in your storm…and Cathy, you’re right, some decisions just work themselves out, so we will just see how it goes…funny how we’d all jump on that plane though!!
  • Cathy
    commented 2016-04-28 13:40:50 -0700
    Sometimes decisions are made for us, such as your foreclosure. Sure hope that goes well for you, however it goes. I so hate major decisions these days, I stress over them so much. I finally did sell my house, and told myself I can always move again if I don’t like the location I’m in (which I don’t). I, too, have realized I need to take care of “me”, to simplify my life so I can do that. Involves more major decisions, but I can see the light, a bit. Save a seat for me on that flight!
  • Lisa Richardson
    commented 2016-04-28 08:24:16 -0700
    Stephanie it’s so very hard isn’t it? To sort out what is our grief guiding our decisions and to know what we really want ourselves? I’m faced with a very similar situation. My youngest is off to college, my lease is too expensive to stay in this house, and I don’t know what Lisa really wants going forward. It’s easy to say “don’t be too attached” but when the dogs and house are all you have left of the life you built, letting go of that is not so easy after all the other loss we’ve been through. I’m not sure I’m ready for a whole new life right now. Sort of feels like we’re just along for the ride and who knows whether it will be fun or terrifying. Long walks have brought me at least some calm in my storm, and slowly I’m figuring out what I don’t want- which maybe will lead me in some direction of what I might want – sigh. I hope you find some peace in the process at least, and that your ride is of the “fun” variety. And boy do I wish we could jump on that airplane and travel!