Every widow or griever I know deserves to do the things that feel right to them, that make them feel whole. Claiming your space, in time, is one of those.
Sometimes that means leaving things just as they are in your home, sometimes that means changing things up. Claiming your space, so to speak. There is no right or wrong about this; the thinking in bereavement circles has changed a little bit about what’s healthy. Bereavement professionals are now more inclined to advocate that grievers do what feels right.
That “right” can change over time. Most widows eventually want their homes to reflect who they are now, what their personal preferences are now. If you don’t wish to change anything, as long as it’s not a money problem, that’s OK too. Expect that other people will have opinions about whatever you do, or don’t do and just feel compelled to offer those opinions. Ignore them. Your home is your business.
I’ve met widows who could not bear to remain in the home they shared with their mates. My Mom was one of those. She told me that everywhere she looked, she saw Dad, and it kept her sad all the time. She was worried that moving out of their 2 bedroom apartment in Senior Living would upset me. My answer to her question about it was that what upset me was the notion that she wouldn’t do what she felt was best for her.
And so, she moved to a different apartment in the same building; a smaller one. Mom being Mom, she did her best to cram ALL the stuff from her two-bedroom unit into a one-bedroom. Ten pounds of stuff into a one-pound bag, but I digress… She made her own decision. I think we all should make our own choices.
I was and still am in the home I built with my husband. It was the home of our dreams and I waited a long, long time for it. I was blessed to have the chance to personally design most of it, from the window and door placement, deciding where the walls went, hunting down antique hardware from all over the county, the retro kitchen, and choosing every single floor, counter, tile finish, and more. We only spent eleven months in it together, so I was more comfortable staying right here. Wild horses couldn’t have dragged me out.
That said, both my mother and I made some changes. Color was a critical element in that change. Mom changed some wall colors to yellow. That’s the color she wanted to see when she woke up in the morning. I changed some upholstery and window treatments to more feminine designs. Color is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to make a space have an entirely different mood. Paint is cheap…and it’s easy to change again if you regret your choice, but you probably won’t.
Let me be your guide about how to reclaim your space so it best suits you. You deserve it!
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