It's More Than Just Real Estate

If you've read this blog over the past several months, you'll know that I, as well as my son and husband, have been cleaning/clearing out my parent's home (aka the house that I grew up in) and readying it for sale.  The selling process and story behind it all is a HUGE blog post unto itself (IF I ever can get myself to write it) For over a month (which is why I didn't publish this post, even though most of what is written here was put "on paper" 2 months ago), the house was "sold" but not closed.  Hence my reluctance to put this out there.  (I don't care what has been said or promised; until all the paperwork is signed and a check has been handed over, nothing is final in my book.) 

All the work that I did, as well as my husband and my son was incredibly stressful and emotional. I've been lucky enough to have my husband and son to support me.

But I am not the only one who is going through this process. Several friends are going through cleaning and selling their family home; in some cases this may be where they are still living.

I've heard it said, that it's just real estate.  It's just a piece of property.  I'd agree to some extent, but I'd also disagree heartily.  Let me explain myself.

To be rational, it IS just a piece of property.  It IS just a thing.  The memories that were made there are not going to disappear with the sale.  The people who lived and loved there will not be forgotten, or if they are still living they will not disappear.  A house is just a dwelling place.

On the other hand, a family home is more than just a dwelling.  Memories have been made in it; memories are tied to it; memories are because of it.  It is MORE than just a thing; it can be an extension of the family itself.  It can be considered part of the family.

To someone who has not lived in the same place for decades or more, this may be difficult to understand.  But for someone who lives and loves in a home perhaps through more than one generation, this is a real thing.  This process is painful and emotional.  It IS the death of the family home and the person (or people) who are dealing with this process have a right and a need to grieve.

This grief is real.  This grief is personal.  The person who is grieving needs and deserves our support.  Additionally, we need to remember that grief doesn't just happen and then go away; it comes in waves.  There are tears and there is sorrow.  Then we move on and do what must be done.  Then another wave of emotion may overcome us.  There is no set pattern.  There is no time frame; we don't (or shouldn't) tell someone it's been a week, a month or whatever time frame; get over it.  (Would you do that to a person who had buried a loved one?  And if you would; stop reading right now and think about that.)  Each person has their own unique way of grieving and period of grief.  As friends, co-workers, etc. we should be supportive and not judgmental.

As I have gone through this process, I have TRIED to be strong.  With that said, there are times when I was a total emotional wreck.  I had to walk away and allow myself time to cry.  Then I could eventually return to the work at hand.  It might have been an hour later, a day or even longer.  But I needed time.  And just when I thought things might be "easier" for me, a wave of emotion would knock me over again.  The "hard part" is never really over because there IS no easy part.

Now the house is cleaned out and has been transitioned to the new owner.  This does not mean my grief has ended.  For now I am "ok".  I am "good."  But who knows what the days, weeks, and months might bring as the new owners make this piece of property their own.  (As they should.)  There will be times of sorrow.  There will be times of anger.  There WILL be pain.

I am lucky enough to have a support system.

For those friends who are going through something similar, know that I AM here to support you.  I KNOW your pain.  It is real and it not to be mocked or brushed aside. I am here for you.

For those of you reading this who do not know me but are going through this; know that you are NOT alone.  Reach out to friends and family and find the support that you need.  There is NOTHING wrong with you or your emotions.  It is natural and it is a LONG process.  (Anyone who tells you elsewise has never had to deal with this.)

For those of you reading this who have yet to go through this or who may never have to, PLEASE be mindful.  When you come across someone who is grieving the loss of a family home, remember to be kind.  Remember that it is NOT just a real estate.  Be a friend; be what my husband calls "the emotional support pig."  

Because we never know when or what might cause intense emotions; be a friend when you can and allow yourself to grieve when you must.


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