It’s Ok to Say No

Saying “No” No story, just an update.

The past few months I have been learning to prioritize what I need to do versus what is all out there to do. How to say “No” is one of the hardest things I am learning to do. I am a giver, a helper, a fixer, compassionate, and want to make it just right for you. This year I made a commitment to myself that I would go back to doing what I loved full time – Real Estate. For the past 2 years I felt like I couldn’t give it my all as I had so many other responsibilities to attend to.

What I didn’t see coming was the sometimes extreme highs & lows of grief.

The past few months have been crazy – we’ve had a big shift in our seller’s market, buyers are coming out of the woodwork scrambling to find properties, meetings & events that we couldn’t do last year are bigger and better because we are all so excited to be back together again, summer has been dry, hot and busy; and amongst all this the highs and lows of grief hit.

It kinda feels like this: “Celebrate a milestone in your career, attend a beautiful summer wedding, enjoy a summer day with friends, drop down to tears that won’t quit for days (which is why I work from home a lot!) but you have a schedule full of appointments (which is a good thing), to making plans for the weekend and the rest of the summer.” (Wait! That was just this last week!!!)

Figuring out how to navigate this is really hard. I always thought I wore my heart on my sleeve and for the most part, I do. But I also find myself putting on a smile and doing what needs to be done first instead of maybe taking some time for just me and healing. I am a social person, I love the energy of being around people and sometimes that’s easier than staying home and focusing on myself – which is what I should be doing.

So this summer I did some of that. After weeks of deliberation, I said no to riding BikeMS – this would have been year 20! – but am continuing to raise funds for BikeMS ( I said yes to 1 music festival instead of 3. I’ve had to make decisions about spending time with family when work required my time and I have also said no to work when I could to spend time with family & friends. I have also just said “No” to everyone and just stayed home. Had a glass of wine on my patio, binged some tv, or read a book. Something for just me. Spending time alone in an empty house isn’t easy for me. I am getting more comfortable. Spending time with you all is so much more fun!

I have said this before and will keep saying it — “I am so very blessed with the people I get to call family & friends in my life!” Thank you for always being there, reaching out, and understanding. This journey of life is meant to be enjoyed but we have to respect what our bodies and minds can handle too. So I am learning.

It’s OK 🧡

Hello Everyone!! It’s been a while! Here’s an update —
The last couple of months have been tough. That’s a very tough statement to write. I do not like to admit that I’ve had struggles. I like to keep that private and let everyone think I am “OK” or “Fine.” I found myself feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and a little lost.
After spending so much time figuring out all the details, finalizing probate, making sure accounts were moved around (Part of closing out the probate), day-to-day processes handled, etc. I thought I had also managed to move through most of the grief that I needed to deal with. Truth is I had not. There was still so much to do and the weight of that along with the true reality that a lot of that stuff had been distractions. Yes, they had to be dealt with but distractions nonetheless. I hadn’t fully dealt with grief. Oh, I’ve been angry, sad, frustrated, lonely, lost, empty, manic, OCD, etc but hadn’t truly taken some time for me to heal. There are days that are still really really hard. I’ve come to realize that I need to make time for myself. Say No. Work smarter and not harder. Why do I think that I need to manage what once took 2 of us to do? I think a lot of us do that and it’s not OK.
Sometime in June it just clicked!! I recommend to Buyers & Sellers of Real Estate to use a professional. Why wasn’t I following my own advice?? I hate paperwork, filing & organization are just a few of my weaknesses. Hire someone who knows what they are doing and spend my time doing what more of what I love to do??? Sign Me Up!! So I prioritized my workload & hired out jobs that are not my strengths which is allowing me to focus on what I am most passionate about in our businesses. Gerry used to say “Why would I mow my own lawn when there’s someone out there that likes to do it, could use the extra funds when my time doing a task I don’t like can be spent doing something more productive?”
Applying this philosophy to both my personal life & professional life has really lightened the load that I was carrying, allowing me more time, less guilt, to heal. Finding help in areas of my workload has also given me a stronger voice to say no, make decisions more soundly, and truly feel less guilty. I now have time to deal with grief in a way that I didn’t before. Just sitting on my couch, maybe binging some Netflix, spending time with friends & family talking about the adventures we all shared. Removing the guilt of “I should be working on the to-do list I had waiting for me.”
If you are still with me — I hope you take some time to yourself. Prioritize and not feel guilty about hiring a cleaning lady, a lawn service, an accountant, a professional for whatever it is you are struggling with. There’s no shame in asking for help. You will be stronger for it. You will be happier and life will have more joy. We all deserve happiness & joy!! This journey of life is short and I believe we should truly enjoy it!
Much Love to All! ❤️


Its Ok to Make Mistakes

To Move Forward – Visit Where You Started

It’s a little cliche but holds some truth.  Sometimes you need to take a look at where you started to move forward.  Think about it; you are cleaning out a closet, get a little sidetracked, and have to go back to where you started to finish the project.  Life is an ongoing project of You.

Just over a year ago, I took a little road trip.  The anniversary of the date I met Gerry, my late husband, was approaching, and I thought, “What better way to kickstart the next chapter of my journey.”  I hope you enjoy my little trip down memory lane.  It’s taken a bit to write this — a year actually.

May 1 — 29 years ago.

I had no idea when my friend, Janet, picked me up in Fargo for a weekend road trip that I was in for the adventure of a lifetime!

20200430_112441Let the adventure begin! Andy’s Body Shop, Napoleon, ND.  A crazy great group of friends painting a 1950’s milkwagon van red.  Nicknamed Nootz, the vehicle was up for all kinds of adventures!  Carpeted walls and whatnot!!



  20200430_113701  20200430_113954


Over the next 25+ years, this group of friends has remained the same, only to grow stronger as wives and families were added.  Napoleon would become one of the places I would call “Home.”  First photo is where Janet lived in Napoleon, apartments above the Post Office.  The second photo is the back of The Downtowner – many memories there along with Johns Corner Bar and The Blue Parrot.  In the early years, we would spend almost every weekend in Napoleon.

I moved to Bismarck in October 1992; we shared a 2 bedroom mobile home in Mr. B’s for a few months with several roommates while we looked for our own place. That home is no longer there so no photo opp.  ;(  We did buy a house in Lincoln that had been renovated and that would become our home for the next 17 years.


We didn’t have that huge shop in the back but we did plant those trees. ☺️  This is where we would raise our daughter.  We had the best neighbors!  Brooke loved to talk to Wally out her bedroom window while he would work in his garage next door.  She would also say “Goodnight Wally!”  Across the street was a family with kids around Brooke’s age.  Life-long friends they will be.  Several of Gerry’s classmates also lived in Lincoln.  Our kids were raised by a village of good friends with more kids than adults!!

We moved into Bismarck in April 2010.  I thought I had found our new to us long time home.  I loved all the character and couldn’t wait to make it mine!  I started renovations approximately 30 minutes after closing.  We hosted Junior Prom Dinner the next weekend.  Imperial Flooring totally rocked the first of many projects in that home.  May have to write a post about all of the reno’s and show the before and afters.


This was designed on a bar napkin from the Tumbleweed.  One of my favorite projects.










Gerry called me one day and said  — “I think we should sell the Augsburg house.”  Really I shouldn’t have been surprised and probably should have been glad that he hadn’t already done so!  He had a habit of buying and selling things and I would be the last to know!  He once took me camping, handed me a beer, and said: “Hey – thought I would let you know – we bought a business today.”  Wade Vogel still laughs at that one!!  I got a new home in AZ the same way!!  Only I got to go down and design it.  So there were upsides too! 😂

We had bought a lot in Whispering Bay – had always been a goal to have waterfront property.  The timing was right for us to sell and consider building on that beautiful lot.  We sold Augsburg and moved into a condo in Lakewood.

1600 sq ft, 3 Bed 2 Bath 2 Car Garage

Imagine downsizing from almost 5000 sq ft to 1600 sq ft!

We then started dreaming and designing the biggest project that we would ever tackle together from this deck.


Deck on Lexi Loop Condo
Deck on Lexi Loop Condo


If this deck could talk — there were tears, reassurances, and lots of laughs!  Lots of dreams too.  We were designing our forever home.  He was worried about the budget and I was worried about the design, the style, the build, the everything – he held the checkbook but I was responsible for everything else!  He would say — it better look good.  I’ll save some of those details for another post!  It was such an adventure – Gerry couldn’t visualize anything!




Foundation Forms 2016

My future waterfront view!
My future waterfront view!








I still live in our forever home.  I feel comfortable here.  I enjoy a cup of coffee looking out my patio doors, working in my home office, slowly making small changes to make it mine and mine alone.  I’ve changed out some of the furniture, added more decor…think he knows I had one of his best buds put holes in the walls to hang decor??  I’ve learned how to fix the garbage disposal, deter mice, the furnace system still has me a little perplexed, the dock gave a little trouble but I’ve learned so much.  Sometimes it’s just asking a lot of questions to find the answers or the right person for the job.

That road trip last spring was so good for me.  It reminded me of how far we had come and that I could do the same.  Determination, hard work, learning from mistakes along the way, great friends & colleagues are all part of the journey.   I am still very much a work in progress and I have my days that just do not go the way they should.  Time is moving forward and there’s no stopping it.  I have said many times over “I am going to give this life journey my best and enjoy life to its fullest!”  I mean it.  This house that I live in was a goal.  One of many.  I now have my own goals.  They are in writing and they are both far-fetched and attainable.  Stay Tuned!  Life is Good!  #BigGoals2021!!

Live Life Fully


Be Kind


Front of my House Rear of my House

My Home! Photos taken Fall of 2020

731 days, 24 months, (Sorry –it’s a long one, grab a drink & a tissue..) As today comes to a close…

For the past week or so I have been reflecting on so many things that have happened in the past 24 months. FB memories have been popping up and as I read thru my journey and read the encouragement that all of you have given me and I know I am truly beyond blessed. This wasn’t a journey I chose although I did choose how to tackle it. There have been many moments of How? Why? When? & No Way!! One thing I can tell you for certain is that Gerry has been with me every step of the way. Here’s why I know what I know.
April 6, 2019, was a normal Saturday morning. We had coffee, talked about our new dreams & goals as we had just come back from AZ where I was getting my RE Broker’s License and we had found a project or two that were really interesting to us.
We met our friends at Jacks for Brunch. Had several laughs! Sometimes bad humor has a way of bouncing back – I will forever hate the Answer B!!! 😈 Gerry had to run to the shop for a bit, ship off some parts, not knowing that would be his last trip — he left the lights on. My guess is he was late to FedEx and he was headed back that afternoon. I spent the afternoon with Lil Man. Gerry made his usual rounds that afternoon. Later I dragged him to Lincoln — He could hang out there until I was done at a bridal shower and then we could go grab supper somewhere. (No I didn’t know he had already been out there! LOL)
No surprise we made our way to the Pier — On the way there Brooke called Gerry’s phone by accident as she wanted to talk to me. She wanted to plan something for his upcoming birthday. He was “all hurt cuz she called him but wanted to talk to me…” LOL! He’s yelling into the phone “I love you Brooke!” even though I’m the one talking to Brooke! We are all laughing so hard we have tears running down our faces! 🤣🤣
It was so much fun to run into everyone as several are Snowbirds and we all had been traveling quite a bit that winter. We stay for a bit and grab some food to go.
At home, we do our thing — hang at the kitchen island, play music, talk, laugh, & make plans. We even sent an email to the Bellamy Brothers to inquire about a summer party! We danced in the kitchen, had a spelling disagreement, and giggled some more!
It was what I would consider a perfect day! It was what our marriage had settled into. It was the “everyday” that we had created for ourselves. It was the friendship, companionship, & partnership of almost 27 years together. Yes, there were many hard times, times I didn’t think we would pull through. 💑
If it wasn’t for this day 731 days ago I think these last 731 days would have been so much harder. We lived so much life so fully in our time together that I have no regrets. I miss him. I know that he has been with me every step of the way. I had signs, convos in dreams, and support from him. I know that we created a crazy beautiful life together and that he would want me to do the same now. We had talked about always living life. (Never did we think one of us would be in the situation I am now in.) I feel very blessed to know this and have the support from all those around us. 💖
Thank you Gerry for a wonderful lifetime of memories, our beautiful strong-willed independent daughter with the best Lil Guy (ever!!!), and the family and friends along the way. You will not be forgotten but remembered with the laughs that you gave us along the way. 💗
Here is the link to the photos that accompany this story:

The Monster Hiding in my Office

This week has been really tough.  The “funk” actually started right after Thanksgiving and I guess you can say it came to head this week.  Ever had that blister that you babied only to finally give up and pop it?  Then the area could begin to heal.  I’m hoping that this will lead to that.


This is one of my favorite spots in my home.  It’s even better at night.  It feels peaceful, calm, and I am able to relax here.  My home is mostly clutter-free and simple.  (If it sat on the counter too long it most likely went missing.  Gerry was famous for tossing things out!)  A monster moved in and took up residence in my office this past 12 months.  This week I decided it was time to kick him out!  Now – fair warning – this next picture is part of the process for eviction!  Not gonna lie – I am quite scared & embarrassed to put this out there in a public space…


This is my kitchen.  It has become a sorting space for 12 months of unattended overwhelming paperwork.  There are 7 file bins on the breakfast counter.  This was a system that was set up for me last fall and I failed to follow through.  Paperwork has always been my enemy.  Gerry took care of most of it which allowed me to be responsible for the little bit that I had.  Now that I have all the responsibility it got a little out of hand.  You may remember from a previous post the amount of paperwork I deal with is crazy!!  (3-ring binder just from the attorney.)  For the most part – everything has been managed but just not filed away.  And yes – I am the Queen of Procrastination!!

These piles have been growing faster than mold grows in a warm and damp environment!  The paperwork that went missing in June was under paperwork that needed to be filed last December.  What I didn’t realize at the time was how much negative energy these piles were emitting.  I no longer used my office – using my kitchen counter for Zoom meetings and all other work-related activities.  I closed the door and most days couldn’t even walk in the office as it was so overwhelming.  My kitchen has looked like this since Monday.  Each day I plug away at it bit by bit.  There have been tears of frustration, the joy of finding a much-needed spa gift card, the release of shredding and filling garbage can after garbage can, and actually many happy memories.  Some of this has been mindless as I chitchat on the phone with a sister in law, a good friend from across the country, and even a few clients.

I now know why this past week has been pulling at me.  The negative energy emitting from my office was taking over my entire home.  Now that it’s in my kitchen I can honestly say it’s worse.  But each day has gotten better.  Today was the final straw.  The 30-minute shower shedding tears (releasing negative energy) let me know that I can tackle the rest of this and I was on the right path.  I knew that I couldn’t move into 2021 without putting some of 2019 and all of 2020 to rest.  Years ago Gerry and I would clean out closets, junk drawers and other pesky hiding places the week between Christmas and New Years’.    It was our way of cleansing out the old and ringing in the new.  More recently it was the shifting of the file cabinets from one year to the next as we would prepare for the next year. More mini-monsters are living in my home but their squatting time is almost up. My master closet has become a freaky monster due to my relationship with online shopping this year — gonna blame that on the pandemic!  There are a few other monsters that started when we moved into our home and those need to be evicted in time.

It’s easy to let these monsters reside in our homes.  Negative energy is easy to ignore, especially when positive options are available.  Going out with friends, working from your favorite coffee shop, lunch appointments,  writing a blog post about it, procrastinating to go home, etc.  When you live alone it’s really easy to just let it reside there and ignore it.  Even when I have friends & family over, they never said anything like “When are you going to clean up that S***Show?”  “How can you sit on the couch when you know what’s behind that door?”  Now that I have started it and moved it into my kitchen I know that I can finish it, feel really good about it, and make a promise to never let happen again.  The amount of mental energy that this has tapped has been physically draining.  I look forward to the fresh energy my updated, clean office will release.  I look forward to working from home in my office.

What monsters are squatting in your home?  I challenge you to share here and then start the eviction process.  This has been painful, embarrassing, and healing.  But I know I will come out on top and so will you.  2020 has had a lot of negative energy, but 2019 was still the hardest year of my life!  I am challenging 2021 to be better and I am starting it at home, with fresh energy and fewer monsters taking up my space.


Your Impact on Others is Bigger than You May Think

To Gerry, my late husband:
Saturday I was reminded just how big your personality was. I chose an empty barstool next to someone I couldn’t quite put the name to the face. He was playing dice with “that” group. 🤪 As we all joked, laughed, & enjoyed the long time camaraderie, I figured out who he was. It’s been well over 5 years since I have seen him or his dad. Over the years we had lots of laughs with his dad and often with him at a different establishment. His dad often joked about “I have a cousin Guido…” 🤣🤣
He slowly connected the dots that I was Brooke’s Mom and you were her Dad. He asked where you were. My heart stopped for a few minutes and the “Gang” waited for my answer. He and his Dad didn’t know you had moved from Earth to be in Heaven to watch over all of us. I still do not have the lines down to explain this. I don’t want that look of Sympathy. Even though I know it’s coming. I love the few minutes past that when they share their memories of you. This time it took a few minutes, we all took a minute, but then the memories & laughs came about.
I am and will be forever grateful for the friends & family that we have. They understand my need to be out & about, moving forward, and also allowing me to remember at the same time. They share stories, I share stories, we all remember. ❤️
To all my friends & family: Never underestimate yourself to those around you. Look on the flip side too – Never underestimate those around you. ❤️

Tomorrow isn’t Promised

I’m sorry – long post, but Please read. It’s Important. (It’s also a little dry…)
📜Probate is the judicial process whereby a will is “proved” in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy in the state of residence of the deceased at the time of death in the absence of a legal will. 📜
Many of you have been following my journey this past 19 months. I have a very earnest request to all of my family, friends, acquaintances, and all you know:
Please Please Please establish A plan, A Will, A Trust, A Beneficiary. Anything in writing. I don’t care if you think you have a little or a lot. Having a plan in place should something happen to you could save your loved ones a lot of extra stress, heartache, and honestly – money.
November 13, 2020. 19 months 7 days after Gerry’s sudden death, I signed what I think are the last of the probate documents. The documents from the last 19 months could fill a 3-ring binder. Some of those documents are just removing Gerry’s name from physical assets that we own, like our home. Others are documents outlining the value of all the assets at the time of his death. Some require decisions to be made before they can be drawn up. Nothing in this process is quick and easy. Then all the notices have to be published. We had assets in 3 states. We had to put a notice in each county where those assets are. Some notices go out to adult children of the deceased. Imagine explaining what these documents are to your grieving family members.
I am simplifying the process a little bit, but each time I received an email, letter, or call from the attorney, it was a little punch in the gut. Friday was one of the hardest of all the days. I was closing another chapter of our life together. This was another way of saying goodbye again and again. 💔
The weight of this process is unimaginable. First of all, you are dealing with this at the very beginning of your grief. The very next week after Gerry’s funeral, I was sitting in our attorney’s office taking notes. If it wasn’t for those notes, I would have no idea what I was to do. The tears didn’t stop. She was so gracious and patient with me.
Had we talked and planned this part of our future out, maybe the grief process would have been different. For the last 15 years, Gerry was the financial person in our marriage. I knew the basics, major decisions were made together, and I knew who to contact. But that was it. We had made uneducated decisions that put me in a bind for a short time. Had we talked more and planned properly, that would have and could have been avoided.
On the flip side of this – I have become stronger & more confident. I know I can make sound decisions. If I don’t have the answer, I am no longer afraid to reach out and explore the options. I do owe many thanks to business colleagues, business partners, tenants, & clients for their support, patience, and sticking with me. I mean — who sells helicopter parts & filtered ice/water? I’ve learned a little about both, along with our other endeavors.
Now that the probate process is complete, I can finally be the adult and follow my own advice. By the end of the year, my Estate Plan will be completed. We do not like to think about this stuff, but it’s a fact of life. We plan medical directives, decide to be a donor or not, (please consider) let’s plan our estates too.
Thanks for sticking with me on this post. I promise the next one will be happy, fun, and SHORTER!! 😂
Much love to all!! 💖
#MyRandomThoughts #ThursdayThoughts #RarelyonThursdaysAnymore
estate-planning-toolsSources of family conflict

Time – 18 Months Later

Healing comes when we choose
I haven’t written in a while, almost 2 1/2 months, my blog tells me. We passed the 18-month milestone this month, along with losing one of my Grandmas and having a horrible week-long flu. (Yes I self quarantined.) Oh Ya — Filing 2019 Taxes was also in there — Filing as Widowed really brought on the tears! The Vodka too!! 🤪
18 months has brought me to a strange place. The grief hasn’t left, I’ve learned to live with it, move around it, and live my life to my best ability. Now that’s messy and definitely not always pretty. There are tears, hurt feelings, sometimes over-whelming abandonment, BUT there is also Joy, Love, some Peace, and a sense of Accomplishment.
Accomplishments range from baby steps — unlocking a stuck garbage disposal, — to the big ones — calling the guy to just “talk” about a headstone for Gerry, home maintenance, new security systems, gutter toppers, and mouse traps!! 🐭
The Joy and Peace come from my friends and family who accept the decisions I have made to live my life fully. Understanding that I cannot keep things the way they were because they are no longer the way they were!! Allowing me to open my heart and maybe share it with someone new. I’m sure it was hard on them but I promise not as hard as it was for me. ❤️
So that brings us to today – I’ve mentioned it before – the feelings of Happiness & Joy mix with Loss & Abandonment (Forlorn). The feelings can be heavy, like a cloudy overcast day of the Fall or it can be as bright and light as your favorite Summer day. I think this is the hardest season of Widowhood thus far. It’s been a roller coaster and truly hard to explain to anyone. (But here I am – sharing with FB land…go figure!!)
If you’re still reading you are probably thinking — Heidi what’s your point? — you’re rambling… To the point – Life is short. Your way of life is not guaranteed. Your future is made up of dreams and goals. How you react to the challenges that change your dreams and goals is YOUR choice. Years of therapy have taught me that how my journey flows is my choice. It’s a result of the decisions I have made when challenges have arisen.
2020 has been a challenge, but how we react to all of 2020 challenges is OUR decision. I encourage you to consider your reactions and make them positive ones. Yes still grieve the challenge but don’t let that run your life — there is so much out there to be thankful and grateful for.
Much Love to All!! ❤️

Ripples of Life

Your Actions Affect More than Just You.

Your Actions Have a Bigger Impact Than You May Understand

I love being around water.  It could be the Missouri River, Oceanside in Cabo, one of the many beautiful lakes in Northern MN, or any other body of water I have not yet explored.  It is very calming to me.  It grounds me.  Water reminds me that my actions and or decisions affect others.  Whether it is how I handle my current stages of grief, or what I learned about previous stages of life…staying in a job that pushed depression into a whole new level, working through a really rough spot in our marriage, or staying close to unhealthy relationships.

Ever watch a ripple of water collide with another ripple?  Sometimes its gently and other times it is a collision – abrupt and shatters the current flow of water.  That’s how life is too.  We can’t always control how our decisions and actions are received but we can be aware of the effect.  Being aware can help us make better decisions.  I am not suggesting that we make decisions based on how others might feel, but to consider how it affects others can impact that decision.

Staying at a job that was so unhealthy for me had serious mental health repercussions and was eventually a large strain on my marriage and family life.  I stayed because of the money.  I thought that I was doing my family a favor when in reality it was the opposite.  There were days that getting out of bed to go to the bathroom was a very large feat!  So you can imagine what energy it took to go to work.  Getting mental health help, leaving that job, and putting myself back together turned out to be better for my family than the financial advantages.  I am a stronger person because of it.

The great thing about this Ripple Effect is that it can be a positive motion too!  You smile at a stranger and that brightens their a day a bit.  You pay it forward in the drive-thru, surprise someone with a quick text or phone call to let them know you were thinking about them, send a handwritten note — a lost art.  I love to send postcards when I am traveling – mostly to my 100-year old Gma, I know how she loves getting mail!  We once received a postcard from JLBeers from our newly 21 year old and had a great laugh!

My challenge to you moving forward is to think about the Ripple Effect.  Use it positively.  If we remove the negative energy from our space there’s more room for positive things to happen.  Ultimately we own our decisions, no one else does.  We can choose how we respond to situations in our lives.  Life is truly very hard, but choosing how we respond can make it easier.  🧡❤️


#RippleEffect  #PositiveVibes  #MentalHealth

Exhausted but Finding Peace,  15 1/2 Months later 

I have never lost a parent, sibling, or child, but I have lost a spouse so I speak of that.  The last 15 months have been some of the hardest times of my life.  I am not speaking of the grief.  Truthfully that’s something almost manageable.  It comes suddenly so sharply it can take your breath away – other times its sweet with a tingle and a memory.  

The exhaustion comes from all of the decisions that follow the death of a spouse.  Terms like Assets, Estate Returns, Values, Distributions, Probate, etc are used to describe and finalize your spouse’s life up to the time of death.  What do you do with their clothes, vehicles, grown-up toys like guns, remote helicopters, and tools?  How soon do you do anything with any of it – did you wait too long to do anything with it?  Then there is also the new title you gain after you lose one that you chose a long time ago.  No longer Gerry’s wife but now his Widow.  (A word I really dislike.)  

I want you to know that there is not a single decision that is made lightly.  Moving clothes out of the closet and into the spare bedroom was a several week project.  First, they were sorted into piles on my bedroom floor for a good 10 days!  Now there are piles on a spare bed and in boxes.  The thoughts that ran through my head were crazy!  What’s my daughter going to think?  His parents and sister?  Am I moving too fast?  Years of therapy have taught me that things move at my pace but every decision was weighed by what I thought others would think.  All of this over CLOTHES!!  It was exhausting.  It didn’t help that it was during Christmas and I had a very good reason for doing it then.  I made pillows out of his shirts and picked each one specifically for the recipient.  

Now imagine decisions around other “Assets” such as vehicles, land or making a big purchase or *gasp*  Dating…….   (That’s one for a whole different day!!)  

Trust me when I say — the exhaustion is so real and heavy — the surviving spouse can go crazy trying to just live.  They consider the feelings of their kids, their family, their friends, and forget that they have their own feelings.  It’s very hard to remember to do what’s best for you and what feels right for you.  There is no timeline for this journey and everyone’s journey is unique.  You can think and discuss what you think you might do…but you will never know until you have to walk this journey yourself.

The exhaustion is lifting and I am finding myself closer to Peace and in a Happy state most of the time.  It’s taken a lot of tears, hard work, some great friends and maybe a little vodka but I am getting there.  This week I said GoodBye to Gerry’s White Truck.  He never drove it and had his reasons for owning one over the years.  This was number 3 or 4.  Always White, always loaded, brand new Chevy HD, and never drove it.  That truck turned my goal of a fun vehicle for ME into reality!  It was bittersweet.  It’s another reminder that Gerry isn’t here but life does move forward.  There were tears on both sides of the table when I traded that vehicle in.  

These changes do not mean that we are over our spouses, we are not forgetting them, we are not trying to rid ourselves of reminders.  We are learning to live again. We are alive and surviving.  We owe it to those we have lost to live our lives to the fullest.

Be kind, remember that we all have journeys to travel at our own pace. Leave the judgment behind and be supportive. 

Love fully, live fully, find peace and happiness. ❤️20190718_130942jeep