Monday, August 24, 2009

Things Change...

I haven't written much over the summer here on Rosehip or Prune but I have a good excuse - I've been selling my house!

At last, I am moving on. Moving's a strange phrase. When you lose someone you love, it isn't long before a well-meaning friend will talk about 'moving on'. "Time to move on", they say to you, placing a kind hand on your arm, "your dead loved one wouldn't want you to stay sad for too long. Time to start looking forward again".

But moving on isn't something you can will to happen. Relationships are complicated things and bereavement is no less a complicated business. When your partner dies, you have to disentangle yourself from them and become a single unit again, and that takes time.

Since I've been widowed, and have talked to people who really know what it's like - that is, other widowed people and not so-called experts, I've heard of it taking five years, or even ten, to adapt to life without a husband or wife. In my case, it has taken four years to feel like an individual instead of half of a ripped-apart unit. And now I do feel like an individual, ready to start a new life in a new town.

When I showed the first couple (it's all couples) round my house and tried to explain my situation, I struggled to explain why I was moving now. The woman gently interrupted and said "you're moving on." I was initially horrified and literally stepped back at the thought that I might be moving on from my husband and thus leaving him behind. But I realised that she was quite right and I found myself nodding and smiling and saying, "yes, you're right. I AM moving on."

And so I am. The process of selling the house has moved me further on - all those new people to meet, all those decisions to make - and I am certain that I am doing the right thing. I will shed a few tears but I will not have any regrets when I walk out of the house in a couple of months time, because I will be moving on - on to Life 2.0.