Part of my widowed journey is getting the opportunity to get away from home. Staying in the apartment that Clayton and I both lived has its benefits and its challenges. He hung up the art and organized the furniture. Everything here holds whispers of his style and view of interior design. I’m coming up on renewing my apartment lease and, although I can get out of it and move at any time, I feel a bit trapped. Every year my lease renews on April 16th. Clayton’s death anniversary is also the anniversary of us moving down here.
So I’ve been entertaining the idea of buying a place. Starting fresh and moving forward but real estate prices are jumping. I don’t want to settle or rush and buy something to buy something simply to get out of this reminder rental. That’s not fair to me now that it’s only me. I’ve got pre-approval for a mortgage and next we see if the house I’m manifesting shows up sooner rather than later or I sign another year in the widowed walls that Clayton designed.
Before the world shut down, I was able to do quite a bit of traveling for work, fun and public speaking. Some trips were long but even just a weekend getaway would sweep me off to a land where I was not widowed. I could just be me in the space I was in without returning home at the end of each day to the emptiness greeting me. Travel was a healthy break to connect with life outside of the daily reminders. Unfortunately trips have gotten scarce and I find myself increasingly growing trapped so I find myself going to my escape room.
When we found this apartment, we wanted to have a second bedroom for people to visit. What I didn’t know is that after Clayton’s death I would be a visitor in my own home. On the nights that I don’t want to sleep in our bed alone I play pretend. I pretend that I’m away on a trip and I stay in the other bedroom. It feels fresh, different and, most of all, it doesn’t feel like our empty bed where Clayton should be next to me alive and just asleep…