I’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.
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.