Grief has changed our lives. So many of our sure of’s have been lost with the passing of our spouses. I personally found myself clinging and holding tightly to every part of our life that remained and wasn’t willing or able to change anything I could keep from changing.
I wanted it to all remain static and unchanging because it kept me in contact with Andi and all the parts of our lives together. Over time, that feeling remained pretty strong and for each little change I made, I usually felt guilty and often felt I ought to ask Andi for permission and forgiveness for doing things as small as moving a piece of furniture or getting new towels in the bathroom.
It took me three and a half years until I was able to even consider moving her clothing out of our closet, partially because it was getting dusty on the back side of the hangers and I knew she would hate that and also in a less important way, because I kind of wanted/needed some more room for my stuff.
So changing things in the material world for me was a real challenge but I also know people who made all kinds of changes quite early, from not only moving or storing clothing and possessions but to giving away all the clothing and lots of the decorations and redecorating or even selling their homes. Some of those people found their own sense of peace in quickly removing much of the sadness-causing memory items from their lives so they could move forward.
It’s another “no right answer” situation. What I have seen says it’s everyones decision to make for themselves when to change things and it’s only the right time when it’s the right time for them. No one else can or should make these choices and decisions for you because it’s your grief and your heart that needs to be comfortable with the choices you are making and you have to listen to your heart and let it guide you to your own personal solutions.
The large changes, like moving and selling or changing vehicles, redecorating the space you shared are importantly yours to make. Unfortunately, in some instances, financial or legal matters force some decisions on us long before we are ready or wanting to make them. I have seen people go through some of those situations and it has always seemed from my perspective that they have been very sad and often confused and angry by being forced into these positions but once it has been done, once they have been in their new situation for a time, they seem to rise out of the shock and distress it has caused them and find a new equilibrium that becomes almost a base line for them to then begin building on again as they go forward.