I sold my house today. Or at least accepted an offer to sell it. I’ve been trying for two months. I’ve been wanting to for two years. Provided it passes inspections and the VA guys don’t want me to do a bunch of stuff that I can’t or won’t, I will be moving into a bigger house in a different part of town. I’ve hoped for this, packed and cleaned for this, prayed for this, and all around talked it into the ground.
So why do I feel like crying?
Why do I feel like I’m on a roller coaster and want to get off?
Why do I feel like I want to call my realtor and have him rip up the paperwork?
I stay up dreaming of how nice our new one will be. I pin ideas for how to decorate on my Pinterest boards after the kids go to bed at night. I play with layouts on furniture websites. I shop online for a new couch and imagine how the new kitchen will work better. This house is bigger, better laid out, and in a nicer neighborhood with nice features.
It’s also not in a neighborhood within walking distance to two schools that I’ve developed amazing relationships with. It also does not have a fairy tale back yard. It also means I’ll have to drive further to church and work. Only ten minutes but in Rapid City that’s an eternity.
Maybe it boils down to it’s not here. It’s not known. It’s not what I’ve gotten comfortable with. Maybe this is why they tell you not to make any major decisions in the first 6 months to a year of grieving. (Though in all fairness, the move will take place at the 11-month mark.) Maybe a part of me sees this as truly a final goodbye.
This is the last house we bought. This is the place we brought Lucy home to. We didn’t think this was perfect but he thought we could make it work. He never wanted a bigger, better house. He wanted to make do and stay put on a nice street close to everything. But he’s not here anymore for me to convince of his wrongness. He’s not here to talk into the new one.
So many people thought I was selling to escape memories or start over fresh. Until people started saying that, it hadn’t occurred to me. Actually, now that its becoming real, those are the things that would anchor me here. Memories.
I never wanted a fresh start. I liked the start I was on. I trust that God had reasons that are best for me. That’s the thing I am surer of than anything else on this journey of grief. God can be trusted. He has a purpose! But running away from this place is not what I’m doing.
As the urge to sob started to make me feel panicked, I texted my friend Deb and she talked me off my ledge. She reminded me of a few basic truths. I had prayed about this. I had given it over to God and asked for Him to close any doors I should not walk through. I trust Him. The panic lifted a bit.
And then my eldest son walked in and I asked him, “Are we doing the right thing?” His answer was calming. He said that yes, this was good for us. We need more room. We need a bigger house. This isn’t perfect but it is good. He agreed that leaving what we know was causing me to second-guess. I love that he’s getting old enough I could have that conversation with him. He’s almost 16. Old enough to have an opinion that means a bit more. Old enough to share with me the calm demeanor he sometimes possesses, a reflection of his father.
Maybe I need to do this so that grief knows it does not direct my paths or tell me what I can’t do. Maybe I need to do this because I can. Maybe I do this because I have not let grief leave me frozen in place. Maybe I need to take this next step as hard and sad as it is because joy comes in the morning. Maybe this is another closing chapter and turning page.
So tonight I will pray that God continues to be in this. I will get my kids ready for a fun-filled weekend with the blessing of old friends. I will let myself be sad in a goodbye but I will also let myself dream of a happy new hello. I will give myself permission to let another unexpected wave of grief wash over me. But I will not stay in grief. I will keep moving forward into the unknown because whatever else awaits me, I know God is already there.