gloryx2March 20, 2005

I am a 61 year old grandmother of two. My husband of 43 years passed away on Oct 22, 2004. I haven't read many of the messages on this site so I'm not sure if this is where I should be posting.

I am in the midst of doing what all the books said not to do . . . . that is - selling my home of 41 years and moving into a condo near my daughter and grandkids. For the past 6 years, since a work accident, I have not been able to do much of anything around the house. My husband was also disabled and we were both guilty of being packrats. I'm also in the the angry stage of my grief which also makes me feel very guilty. When my husband could no longer work in the yard; he hired someone to cut the grass but that was it. His other hobby was old cars. I had no idea of how much money he had actually put into his hobby until now. Even though he loved our house, for the past 10 years, he refused to put anything into it to keep it up. His idea of repairing a broken window was black plastic and duct tape!

There is no way I could fix up and then keep up this house. But trying to carve the amount of stuff in my 4 bedroom and finished basement home to move into a smallish two bedroom condo is overwhelming. Too top it off, only a few pieces of my furniture will fit.

I am feeling so overwhelmed because there is sooooo much to do to the house in order to get it fixed up to sell. I have never had much self-confidence and I am unable to even keep up with the mountain of paperwork.

I am so lonely and with all that is going on; I just want to stay in bed with the covers over my head. My disability only allows me to stand for 4-5 min at a time so I get really frustrated easily.

Have any of you out there gone through angry/guilty stages?

If it not for my faith in God, and knowing he will only give me what I can bear; I don't know what I would do. Bill and I started "dating" when I was 14 so I've had him to lean on for most of my life. I'm sure you can relate.

Thanks for letting me vent. God Bless,

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Glory, you have my sympathy--both for the loss of your husband and the task you face.

If you haven't already, I suggest you post this same message on the Organizing the Home Forum. I'm sure the many lovely women there will give you some excellent advice and support. I turned to them two years ago when my DH went into a nursing home and my house needed a lot of work. Like you, I was completely overwhelmed with a situation that had been getting bad for a long time. They helped me come a long way.

Your situation and mine are different in that I'm staying in my house, and I put some money into necessary repairs and remodels. But I probably started out with just as little confidence as you. I found that every accomplishment, no matter how small, was empowering. Each one built on the one before, until I gradully felt good about what I was doing.

Who do you know who can come over to help you "muck out"? I'll bet there are lots of people, but you don't want to let them see the condition of your house. I hope you will work on asking for help in spite of those kinds of feelings.

Let us know how things go.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 2:53PM
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First of all, I'm so sorry about the loss of your beloved husband.
I am sure that there are many people who could help you with this undertaking that you must tackle. Try first, asking close friends and family to help you. Some of the local churches may also have people who would be happy to come help you do whatever you need done. Maybe your daughter could come and help you cull out the things that you really would like to save and bring with you. The rest could be donated or given to the anyone that could come help you do repairs or clearing out. I feel so badly for you and wish I could help. I feel helpless. I wish you the best!
As far as the angry/guilty phases. I probably have felt all grief emotions at different times and some at the same time.
My daughter will be gone 7 years this April 5 and she left on Palm Sunday, so today is a special day for us. I haven't gotten angry much at all for some reason. I know that Christin is in heaven. I am happy to know that my daughter is in heaven with God and all good things whereas others' daughters who are here have many of life's problems to endure which my Christin will never have to experience. This is comforting to me. Even though her life was cut short, she was spared many unpleasant experiences of this life. I'm certainly not glad that she is gone, but since God chose to take her, it's comforting to know that she is safe with Him.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christin Cosby Memorial Web Site

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 7:29PM
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The Anger part was very hard for me as well. Difficult to be effective when you "can't see straight" with fury!!!

The things only get worse when you discover "unknown" parts of your loved one's life. they are not even there to be able to ask questions!!! ARGGGHHHHH!!!!

Call for help, you have two kids. Hire help (I realize you probaly don't have the $$$)

The "Not Changing" thing is a guideline, but not advice for EVERYONE. Moving out of a house that you cannot manage is perhaps a good idea. just realize that you'll have to change habits, and keep the new place maintained.

God be with you....I have no miracles... AM

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 4:08PM
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Thanks for all the support. It's good to be reminded that I am not the only person going through this nightmare. I have a great real estate agent who used to remodel houses and sell them with his partner who is my son-in-law's cousin; so, he is sort of a friend of the family. He has agreed to hire people he used to do repairs, remodeling, etc. in order to get it in shape for selling. The past few days they have been removing my old cedar shake roof and putting a new one on.

Even though my kids "don't have time" to help me, here I am at my daughter's for the next 2-1/2 days so so can take a class. It has been scheduled for several months and I agreed to watch the kids and get them off to school. I wish I had the nerve to ask her to make other arrangements. After a couple of days with the kids and the stairs at her house, I need a couple of days to recoup at home. That's one of my biggest problems, not wanting to disappoint anyone. I plan to be out of my house by May 1 so the interior can be fixed up. My condo won't be ready until June 1 so I will be living with her for a month. She can only help on Saturdays. This Saturday she is in school, next Saturday is my grandson's birthday party. That only leaves 3 Saturdays for her to help me. My son puts in 60-80 hrs per week as General Manager of Staples. He is single so only wants to sleep on his day off. I am and always have been there for them; maybe that's where I went wrong.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 6:05PM
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Glory -
Check out the "Organizing the Home" forum. Pack up the stuff you want to take (mementos and heirlooms), have family come claim anything they want to have, then call in a couple of dealers to get bids on the car parts. After the car parts are gone, check through the rest to make sure you haven't left anything stuffed into pockets, and call in a couple of dealers in second-hand household goods to bid on the rest. Make their bids of the "take it ALL away and sort it out later" so the house is empty. I've done this where renters abandoned a huge accumulation of stuff, and it was perhaps not as profitable as selling it myself, but is was far faster and easier.

"there is sooooo much to do to the house in order to get it fixed up to sell" ... don't bother. Sell the house "as is" to someone who is looking for a fixer-upper. There is an active market in "ugly houses". It's just as profitable to the homeowner - take the estimated cost of the repairs into account when figuring out the asking price.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 7:04PM
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Glory -
Another thought: just flat TELL the kids what you need them to do for you to make this transition work. Remember when they were 5 and you TOLD them they had to do stuff for you? Do it again.

Go ahead and be demanding and bossy again - they might be thinking they don't want to "interfere" and think you are doing OK. It doesn't sound like you are, so let them know what the status is - you can't stay on your feet for more than a few minutes at a time, the mess is overwhelming, and you are so overwhelmed you just want to stay in bed with the covers over your head.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 3:02PM
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