Rebuilding a Life

Friday, January 5, 2018

Death is a catalyst when it reaches down to the deepest levels of the soul. They say to not make any big changes after a major loss, but sometimes that is just impossible. When the ceiling caves in (literally), you have to do something about it.

Drowning in Possessions

For the length of his illness, I was the finger in the dyke keeping the dam from bursting. But I could feel the pressure building after so many years. And I felt like it was slowly killing me.

When he died, I let go. The dam burst in a riptide of possessions, exhaustion, a dilapidated home, a career that no longer fit, and the loss of my  existence as I knew it. It sounds a bit melodramatic, but the only things that offered any stability were family, a hand full of good friends, and my cats.

He had always been a bit if a hoarder, but it got worse as he got sicker. Home became a storage unit, not counting the off-site storage full of stuff.

Throwing Stuff "Overboard"

The night he died I started pulling out books, CDs, DVDs, electronics, and clothes (he had more clothes than I do) to sell and to donate. I couldn’t live like that any more. A few days later I was cleaning out a closet that had water damage he would never let me get fixed, and the ceiling fell on my head as I was moving a box from the top shelf.

Diving into the Sea of Remodeling

It was time to do the remodeling that was always going to get done, but never did. We bought the house as a fixer-upper, but it never got fixered-up. Instead he had let things go. There was always something else to do besides fix up the house. And when you let things go, they don’t get any better.

So, a few months after his death, I found myself in the middle of a project that took over my life, but it has also given me a new sense of purpose. I gutted the house.

The remodel was suppose to take three months. It has been a year and a half. Things are still not completed. In the process, I have learned about packing up a house and putting it into storage, I have learned a lot about construction, I have learned that I like to bring organization to a home, and I have an eye for interior design. Most of all, I learned about slowly exploring options and building a new life from the ground up on a new foundation. 

New Opportunities

My new adventures in life have brought me face to face with a lot of people dealing with what I have gone through. Not just the loss, but the upheaval that remodeling, downsizing, and moving can bring. I hope that what I have learned might help others. So I am going to share my adventures through this blog.