Note: This post was originally shared on my “widowhood” blog, “Frances 3.0: Still in Beta”.
I met with my real estate agent today. He came into my home and looked around; he’d not seen it since shortly after we moved in and a lot had changed. I remember when Paul and I first met with him. He said he wasn’t going to be our agent for this one purchase – that he’d be there when we were ready to sell and buy something bigger. (Though our home is nearly as big as both of our childhood homes combined so I doubt we’d have been looking for more space.) We always knew we’d call him again. We always knew we’d be selling on at some point so that we could move back to Scotland with our children and future firmly in our grasp. I never imagined I’d be making the call on my own – and without knowing what the next chapter in life would bring.
I’m torn. I know I need to sell the house because it’s holding me back from reaching for the future that I want, but I’m so afraid of saying goodbye to the home that Paul and I built together. We had so many plans and were so excited to be filling the house with laughter when we adopted our children. The whole place was imagined and decided on for those wonderful children that we never got to love.
I’m afraid that selling my home will mean that I’ll never have such a lovely home again. I’m afraid that I’ll find myself in some dingy little apartment and will never have the privilege of paying property taxes again. I’m afraid that selling my home means that I’ve given up and accepted defeat – accepted that the life I lived with Paul is not a life I can live on my own. I know that I can’t have the life I had with Paul, but I can’t help but wonder if by selling my home it means I’m not strong enough to make it without him. I feel like I’m giving up.
I don’t think for a moment that Paul would expect me to keep the house. I don’t think for a moment that Paul would want me to live in the past. I know that he wants me to be happy and to follow my hopes and dreams – it’s just hard to imagine doing those things without Paul to share my future and my successes. It’s hard to imagine starting over and building a new life on my own; without someone cheering me on and celebrating my successes with me.
It’s such a painful step; a big step; a scary step. But I know it’s a necessary step, too.
My agent will be back in touch after the weekend. In the mean time, he’s given me a (very short) task list. Thankfully, the house is in great shape for selling and won’t need a lot of work to get it ready for the market. I wish I could say the same for my emotions.
So, into the unknown I travel with the bravest face I know how to fake…