Seeking wisdom and experience - planning for a future alone

   #1  

PandDLong

Silver Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Messages
129
Location
Southern Alberta
Tractor
Kubota L3540, JD Z445 Mower, JD LX188 Lawn Tractor
An odd subject line, so let me give a little background.

I live on a 20+ acre piece of land with a large family home. I have been here for almost 25 years and my wife and I raised our family here - including hosting the weddings for two of our children. The property and home do take time and money to maintain and are beyond the needs of empty-nesters without children who need this much space to live, grow and explore.

We were a few years from retirement and with the pandemic my weekly travel for work stopped and we spent every day together for 18 months. It was a teaser of what our "golden years" would be like - we loved it and we loved being on the property full-time together. We made the decision that we would stay here as long as physically possible and we made lots of plans of projects and things to do in the home and on the property.

Tragically, my wife of 34+ years passed away unexpectedly in September.

As this is such an emotional time, I committed to myself and my kids that I wouldn't make any big decisions for a year. I need time to grieve, adjust, adapt and ponder the future. Right now it is one day at a time (and often just one hour at a time) but my wife and I were both planners so I often think about the future and some of the decisions I need to make in the coming months.

I am finding - so far - that much of the work I have done on the property and the planned improvements were all about making it a better place for us both and my wife's happiness was a big motivator for me.


I learn a lot from others and I have always found this forum filled with good people with a wide variety of experience and perspectives. So I want to hear about the experiences of those who have gone through something like this:

1. Do I keep reminders of my wife close by or do I avoid them?
- Is there a right time (or a wrong time) to pack up her things in the house?

2. Do I stay or do I move / downsize to a smaller acreage and home?

3. If I stay here for the long term:
- Do I follow through on our plans or do I start over on the plans?
- Do I complete the projects that she was most passionate about or do I let them fade?
- Do I keep her decorating style and touches in the home (which I liked but not sure I have the talent)?

4. What should I be considering or thinking about as I go through all of this decision making and planning?


Thanks in advance for your insights.

Michael
 
   #2  

Torvy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
1,019
Location
North East Texas
Tractor
Looking to purchase a Compact Tractor in 30-50 HP range.
So sorry for your loss. That fear is always in the back of my mind.

I think a lot of your answers will come with time and from your own heart. Some people are quite comfortable alone. Others need more human interaction. Do you know yourself well enough to classify yourself that way?

Are your children near and active in your life? At this point, mine are not interested in our property (4 kids 18-25). That may be important to your decision. To your kids that land may be much more important than to mine. The same may be true about your wife's things.
 
   #3  

Peace

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
1,036
Location
On the narrow path...
Tractor
Ferguson TO30
Very sorry to hear about your loss Pandlong. I give you a short poem in hopes to give some encouragement. I wish I could add more. I pray that God Blesses you with peace.

I cannot hold you near me, except within my heart,
But one day I will join you, and all grief will depart.
Till then I'll tread on bravely, I know I’m not alone;
And when my work is finished my Lord will call me home.—
Greta Zwaan
 
   #4  

KennyG

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
3,721
Location
SW Michigan
Tractor
John Deere 2320
It's a tough situation but you need to find your new balance. Don't walk away from the past but don't get stuck. I think it's important to keep moving forward with your plans. Some things may change but the worst outcomes I've seen are when people either get stuck in the past or cut themselves off from their previous social life and relationships.
 
   #5  

oldballs

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2009
Messages
4,007
Location
Kansas...USA
Tractor
Kubota B2620 , Case 448 , Kubota B2650
Wife of 48 years passed away about 14 years ago.....I'm almost 89 now.... two outta the four kids give me some physical and moral support......... .sorry for your loss.

For several years I carried out my projects (3 acres + big gardens and lots a trees)...been here almost 50 years. To this day most of her clothes and her room etc are right like she left them. I was always a "religious" guy and attend weekly services plus sing in the church choir. There I have met many new friends and activities.

About 5 years ago I met a neighbor lady whose husband had died about 15 years ago. We enjoy each others' company for some dinning out and watching various sports on TV. She lives in her house and I live in mine. Of course that's a bit premature for you.

I'm beginning to have some health problems myself now and can't keep up my outdoor projects like I used to. Now I gotta figure that out....just like you in your situation.

I still talk to my wife, take flowers to her grave and pray to and for her daily. My lady friend and I can easily talk about our spouses and kids without any (much) emotional break up. In fact, I have become attached to her seven children and grandchildren/great grandkids. They treat me very well. As time passes you will be able to figure out what is best for you.

Cheers,
Mike
 
   #6  

DieselBound

Elite Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Messages
3,021
Location
Arlington, WA
Tractor
Kubota B7800; Kioti NX5510HC
I have a good friend whose wife died around the time he was about ready to retire (she'd just retired). He didn't make quick decisions afterwards, kept working. He lives as though his wife had wanted: no self-pity; enjoy life. It's her sense of spirit, her inspirations for life that provided him guidance. Adopting the good in others makes one a better person. Nothing wrong with wanting to uphold those notions. There's good in life and your wife showed you that!

If you can be alone in your head then it's almost certain that your head can work with your heart to establish the necessary and acceptable path.

A reminder to all that tomorrow isn't guaranteed. Don't lose track of today!
 
   #7  

ultrarunner

Super Star Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
Messages
17,966
Location
SF Bay Area-Ca Olympia WA Salzburg Austria
Tractor
Cat D3, Deere 110 TLB, Kubota BX23 and L3800 and RTV900 with restored 1948 Deere M, 1949 Farmall Cub, 1953 Ford Jubliee and 1957 Ford 740 Row Crop, Craftsman Mower, Deere 350C Dozer 50 assorted vehicles from 1905 to 2006
Excellent questions that can help others...

Very sorry for your loss.

I agree to give it at least a year if possible...
 
   #8  

TheMan419

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Messages
2,165
Location
Indiana
Tractor
New Holland Boomer 24
Michael:

First I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine what you are going through.

As with any tragedy I think we must let the dust settle. However I think we can help that process along. Not speed it up, it will settle for you when it settles. There is no right or wrong time for that.

What I mean is something that is very hard for men to talk about, especially those of us who live rural and have a very independent streak. Get into mental health counseling. Even if you do not feel you "need" it. You will learn how to process what you are going through. While the counselor will not answer those questions you asked, you will learn how to find the answer that is right for YOU.

My experience is on May 23, 2020 I literally dropped dead. I had a heart attack that lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. As I was not in a hospital when it happened, and EMS took over 10 minutes to arrive my chance of survival was less than 5%. Yes you read that right I was 95% likely to die.

My wife did CPR for 10 minutes until first responders arrived. They drove over 100 MPH to the hospital. I was on life support and in hypothermia for 36 hours. When they knew I was going to surivive the question was how much mental acuity would I lose. They said it would be a lot. Thank GOD they were wrong. I am 95%+ of what I was before.

However it took me too long to realize I needed a lot of help with my mental health. Nearly dying really really changes your view of everything. I am sure having your wife pass did the same thing for you.

Counseling has helped me tremendously to understand what my life is now and how to move forward with all the new things I am feeling and learning.

If I can be of help my in box is always open.
 
   #9  

sea2summit

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Messages
2,096
Location
Left coast of, GA
Tractor
Kubota 1860->25D, MX5800, M4D
I truly am sorry for your loss, I can only imagine.

I would stick to your commitment to the family, give it a year. Even if that means doing little or nothing to the property that's fine. You've got a lot of basic life decisions coming up you have to start figuring out on your own, get those day to day/seasonal things figured out then think about how to move forward.
 

bigtiller

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
4,943
Location
central Iowa
Tractor
JD 2720
This is a tuff row to hoe. I wish the best for you. The grieving process is difficult and usually having a professional to vent to and knowing he is listening is helpful.

Best of luck to you my friend.
 
 
Top