Taking Another Step Forward

home.jpgI'm exhausted. I've been packing, cleaning, sorting and lugging boxes all day, actually no - for weeks now.  My bones ache, my feet are sore and I'm typing this through bleary eyes.  

On Monday morning, two guys in a van will be pulling into the driveway of my big family home, filling it with all my precious possession and moving me into my new inner-city apartment building.  

If you'd told me a few months ago that I'd be packing up and moving, I wouldn't have believed you.  The timing really couldn't be worse... I have a major university assignment due soon; I'm off to Melbourne next weekend for a long-awaited 'widows weekend' with some of my favourite people (who are flying in from around Australia); I'm dating someone new which is all very exciting and eating in to any and all time I can spare to spend with him; and in a month's time I'm off to the USA for Camp Widow West.  
So yeah, life is busy, but for some ridiculous reason I decided that this was the time and I needed to move.  Maybe it's BECAUSE my life is so full right now that I feel like I'm ready.  

I can't count the number of times since Dan's death that people have asked when I'll move out of our house.  I always answered that I'd know when the time was right and couldn't predict when that would happen or what my next move would be. Like so much of this grief journey, it's about instinct.  Trusting your gut.  Letting go of the questions, doubt and fears that plague your mind and keep you up at night.  

Learning to follow my instincts was one of the most important and earliest lessons I learnt after Dan died.  Now it's leading me forward, out of our family home and into another phase of this new life without him. 

The man I'm dating (who has been very understanding and supportive) asked me last night if I felt sad about leaving the home I created with my husband.  And of course there is a significant amount of conflicting emotion bubbling away just under the surface for me.  I'm incredibly excited about this change in lifestyle and location.  I feel ready to let go.  But on Monday morning, I will walk out of the space we created as our personal sanctuary and close another door on the life I built with him.  

The garden we planted.  The bedroom we shared.  The kitchen we laughed in.  The exact spot where I hugged and kissed him goodbye for the very last time.  All the spaces and nooks and crannies that we discovered together as we bought and set up our family home.  Typing this, the tears are running down my face and my heart is aching.  It hurts to re-visit the memories of this time.  I do it because I love him and celebrating that part of my life is important.  But the loss of that life, is also still so significant. 

In two month's time I will be turning 36. And the following week will mark three years since I lost my husband to depression.  Yet here I am, forging this new path for myself.  Relishing it even.  Time is a funny thing.  It sneaks up on us in some moments and then drags for all eternity in others.  Time has helped me heal.  Time has brought me peace.  And time has given me the strength and grace to know when to stand still and when to step forward.  

On Monday, I'm taking another step forward.  

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  • commented 2016-05-20 18:33:17 -0700
    Proud of you and what you are doing – the memories will always be with you. I moved 2 years ago and those same thoughts – are last hug which was in the kitchen, our bedroom, all the gardening that my husband did, I even took a plant that is barely making it – but trying to keep it alive. You can do this and you are. Will really miss not being about to go to San Diego. I know it will be good for you. Sending huge hugs your way.
  • commented 2016-05-14 19:02:14 -0700
    Your experience is very supportive to what I’m going through with my house foreclosure…and the big decisions I feel are ahead for myself. It’s bittersweet. Can’t wait to hear about the new place and have a great month with all else going on. xoxo
  • commented 2016-05-14 18:27:28 -0700
    So exciting and so very hard. Today I took a walk past a playground my husband and I helped raise the funds to build. A brick with our young son’s name on it lines the pathway around it. It’s one of the places I find hardest to go to because of the memories. But I took a picture of it today so I would carry it with me into the future. Yours is a beautiful house and holds beautiful memories I’m sure. Cheers to your new apartment, and the memories you’ll make there.
  • commented 2016-05-14 09:22:45 -0700
    congrats, brave one, and you know that I know just how complex that word really is. Your home is beautiful. Take those memories with you forever, and hold them in your soul. i cannot wait to see you next month !!!!