Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer
Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer
Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer

March to December – Summary Catch-up – Letting Go

A wise therapist/psychologist/wonderful human told me there are three things we must learn. One is to love fully. Two is to allow ourselves to be loved completely. Three is to let go. Of what? Of everything.

It has been such a long time since my last post. Much has happened since March, and that sounds like “much” and “March” should go together. Maybe not. So many major shifts.

I realized I couldn’t afford to stay in my house. I started with Emilee’s enormous fabric collection. Most people who sew are fabric hoarders and Em was no exception. I donated it to a group that makes quilts for cancer patients. That was a tough beginning, but a necessary first taste of letting go of “stuff”. If you get a chance to watch George Carlin’s routine on “stuff” on YouTube, you will be glad you did. Be prepared to laugh seriously. After the donation, I still had a huge amount of sewing related inventory, and the machines, but it was a good start.

By June I had a realtor. By August I was doing an online auction to sell most of my household furniture and everything that had been collected over the years.

I will come back when I can and fill in details, but for now I will summarize. The house was listed on September 12, a Thursday. The open house was that weekend, on Sunday. On Monday, I had four offers, one of them being at asking, the others above but each with contingencies. I went with the asking price offer, and it turned out well. From listing date to closing date took three months.

I closed two weeks ago. I am in a hotel. I am leaving to spend ten days in Florida, looking at a retirement village for a few days, visiting my brother, then going on a tour of Panama geared to those considering a move there. Over the last few months I have visited two potential “move to” destinations, neither one feeling quite right. One was in Mexico, one in Costa Rica. I am hoping this trip to Panama has me wanting to explore what Panama has to offer. I am ready to find a place I want to get to know well. I want the spring-like weather of the mountains, and I want to know where I am laying my head down each night for an extended period of time.

I am in a very nice hotel, a Homewood Suites. I was in a gross motel for thirteen days. This feels like a Christmas song. On the first day, I asked them to attend to the grease and dirt on top of the kitchen cabinets, among a few other items. I won’t bore us with the disgusting details. On the twelfth day I had enough of the management’s excuses for not attending to extended stay patrons, and after I was told I could leave if I wanted to, I took a deep breath and said I would leave the following day.

Turned out to be a good thing. For one, I am in a much nicer place. Much nicer. Secondly, I needed to pare down what I am carting around with me and get the rest into the rented storage room.

Keep in mind I don’t like discomfort. You could say I am discomfort phobic. I don’t like uncertainty either. With some therapeutic help, I am learning to tolerate these things, to face them, do what I need to do, and not run. It is not easy. But I am handling the challenges one at a time and I have not died. Each step along the way has helped to add a little more confidence that I will manage what I have to as things arise.

One of the biggest challenges was after the online auction, I still had “stuff” that I had to either donate, throw out, or put in storage. There were moments, lots of moments, I wasn’t sure I would get it all done, but one little bit at a time I did it. By myself. I packed, I moved, I went back and forth to storage, to IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigration Services) to donate, and to a consignment shop. I finished an hour and a half before the final walk-through of the house by the buyers.

I am taking one carry-on bag with me on this trip. I will have to come back to deal with the stuff in storage, and my car. I mailed my medications supply (you know, the 90 days worth of pills for each prescription) to my brother in Florida for now. I will figure that one out when I have to. I didn’t figure this out until today. I thought I would take them in my bag. They don’t fit.

I have moments where I am thinking clearly, but for the most part those moments are punctuating a rather confused, semi-functional brain that takes longer to accomplish tasks than I would prefer. It is what it is. I am getting things done, even if they take a little longer. I breathe deeply as often as I can, and keep practicing managing the stress as I feel it rushing to overtake my body.

Where will I be in a few weeks? Stay tuned in to find out. I plan to.

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