The Family House — Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I’m lucky enough to have a great house. It was built in 1929 and is rich in detailed plaster, stained and leaded glass and original woodwork. It is roomy and cozy at the same time. By far, it is the prettiest house on a rather ordinary block of old houses.

I love this house, as do my kids; it is filled with more than two decades of wonderful memories. But I think about moving. I want a smaller house with a tiny yard on a livelier block; I want a new start. I would prefer a street with friendlier neighbors who I could have a beer with after work or on Sunday evenings. But since I’m not sure where I want to move — stay in the same city, try another side of town or move to another state — I’m in a holding pattern.

My house is too much a part of my security right now. I think maybe after this winter, spring or summer, I might know more about where I want to live. I ask myself if I should stay in this city where I have the most friends or head out for an adventure and make new friends. Do I wait until I retire? Do I see where my kids go? Right now, my son is in town and my daughter has another year of college about three hours away.

Meanwhile, my daughter has come home from college in the summer the last few years, but she won’t this summer. That will be another adjustment; I like her home in the summer. I welcome the fresh, young life she and her friends bring to this house. When she is home, the house doesn’t feel so big and empty.

I know I will never live in a house this stunning again, so I am not quick to leave it, to move on.

I’m literally looking for a sign as to where I should go after this. So far, nothing is clear. No matter how long I wait, I realize leaving this house is going to be tough.



About Marti Benedetti

I'm a longtime writer and a widow. I want to share my thoughts and experiences of being single in my 50s and beyond after being married to the same man and raising kids for 28 years. It's not the journey I signed up for, but the one I'm living with. I hope I can offer up some thoughts, chuckles and comfort for those in a similar boat.
This entry was posted in grief, living alone, new widow, single middle-age woman, widowhood. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Family House — Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  1. Trish Hubbell says:

    Marti: This is really excellent. I read all of your posts and feel the exact same way on most or all points. I found comfort in staying in the family home for a while after Colin died but then it seemed time to go. It will all work out when the time is right. In the meantime, enjoy your lovely home filled with many beautiful memories and stories.

    I know about Sundays. My mom still hates to be alone on Sundays and my Dad died almost 19 years ago. I also find them difficult — it is a family day and we are now left without family on Sundays. This culture is very isolating and values individuation over community.
    Uggghhh. Life doesn’t really get any easier.

    Very nice work on the blog. I imagine it must be somewhat cathartic…..seems more healing than a grief group.

  2. Judy Putnam says:

    Loving your blog though I’m sorry so much pain is behind it. Keep it up!

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