Grief is a toughie. It’s hard to define, but I’ll start with something of a definition so we all know what I’m talking about. Grief = the emotional and physical reactions to losing something or someone that we care about. We can also react to the loss of something intangible that we care about even if it was something we never “had” like picturing yourself at a new job (but then not getting that job) or having a goal of running a marathon (but then hurting your knee and having your doctor recommend that you give up running). Ugh. Grief has been on my mind constantly over the last two weeks and I have been reminded of just how intense it can be! My husband and I are lucky enough to be looking for our first home, and after a few weeks of searching, we found the perfect one! Or so we thought….until the inspection. Unfortunately, the excellent and thorough inspector turned up many expensive issues with the home that needed to be repaired and we were in no financial position to take those on…..so we had to kill the deal. I realized I had projected quite a fantasy of what our lives would be like in this house – weekends working in that yard, parties thrown in that living room, dinners cooked in that kitchen, the list goes on and on!
I feel lucky that we had a good inspector, and I’ve been advised by many people (before and since this experience) not to get attached to any home until you have the keys in your hands. In my experience, that would be like trying to stop a runaway train. A theme I’m sure that will emerge in my posts, is that you cannot control your feelings. You can try, but in the end, trying not to feel something just makes you feel worse! So, I’m practicing what I preach and letting myself feel the grief of losing this life in this house that was never mine, but something I really wanted. It felt like falling in love with the person you are dating, and then finding out that they are a pathological liar. Ugh. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance – I’ve been through all of these and keep cycling through them. These are the “stages” of grief, but in real people they happen out of order and are unpredictable in how they will show up. I don’t feel good, and I’m not sure when I will again, but when something crappy happens it can feel good just to let yourself experience it. I wish you all the courage to acknowledge and validate your emotions whether they be with grief or other experiences!