Sad but also relieved: Classic Moves helps a widow cope with the stress of leaving the family home
Suddenly widowed when her husband died after a short illness, 75-year old Yvonne found herself living in a house in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs that was expensive to maintain and too big for her to really enjoy, but at the same time it was the home that she had lived in and loved for over 40 years, with a garden she and her husband had tended carefully.
The neighbourhood had changed and her friends had moved away. Now the houses along the street were mostly rented out to tenants who hosted noisy parties on weekends, and Yvonne decided it was time for her to move.
Yvonne’s children were living in Melbourne and although she saw them often, they were some distance away and busy with their own work and family and she knew they couldn’t help her with everything, so she felt completely overwhelmed by the challenges of moving from a large home into a much smaller one.
Sorting & Selling
It was difficult for Yvonne to decide what to keep, and what to sell. Most of her furniture and ornaments were still very attractive, so Classic Moves helped her with her decisions based on the space she would have, then arranged for the Abbeys Auctions team to come and look through the items she wished to dispose of. This was an important step to complete before giving items away to charity. The Auctions team identified items that were suitable for sale and advised what items would only be suitable for charity.
Crockery, china, casserole dishes, pots and pans, cutlery and even linen needed to be sorted and selected. We were able to help Yvonne choose the items she really loved, and let others go so that she wouldn’t feel as though she was crammed into a tiny space.
Preserving Memories You Can’t Take With You
The Team Leader who was working with Yvonne noticed that she was looking increasingly tired and stressed. When asked, Yvonne mentioned that she was not sleeping well because of the anxiety she felt about decision-making as well as the emotional stress of the upcoming departure from her family home with all its special memories. Not having her husband there to talk things over with was adding to her stress.
Classic Moves couldn’t change many of these things, but we did find another problem we could solve on top of the practical aspects of the move. Yvonne and her husband had spent many hours making the garden the showpiece of the house, now she was going to leave it behind! We arranged to have photos taken of Yvonne in her garden, then had them framed and ready to be placed
in her new apartment. We also took cuttings of some of her cherished plants for her to take with her to her new home. Yvonne couldn’t take her garden with her, but at least she does have a constant reminder of it’s beauty and fragrance prominently displayed in her new home.
Teary-eyed and Happy to be Home
At the end of the day, Yvonne sat in her favourite chair sipping a cup of tea, tears rolling down her cheeks as she looked around her new home. Everything had gone like clockwork, the boxes were unpacked, her bed was made, and she was surrounded by her familiar treasures. She could even smell the fragrance of her beloved garden. It was tough to say good-bye to her old home, but she felt peaceful and relaxed without the burden of its maintenance.