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Advice & More August 2017

Ask Miss Nora

A Time to Strike Back

This is such a common but misunderstood emotion after the loss of a partner. Whether you jumped back into your life with a lighter heart or wallowed in sadness and regret day after endless day, it still takes a mighty amount of self-awareness to deal with the changes and to pull yourself towards “normal” again.

Dear Miss Nora: Can you please advise me on a way to get rid of my husband’s things? He passed away a few months ago and I can’t find anyone to come collect this stuff. It’s been a huge struggle, to say the least and I’m about to just throw it all away in the garbage and be done with it.

Not only that but my house is too large now and I want to scale down. However, I have so much stuff to go through that I don’t even know where to start. My children live too far away to help me and I don’t have friends who are healthy enough to help me. — Downsizing in Denver

Dear Down: Whoa, call me cynical but I’d say you were just a touch overwrought. Your letter reads more like a tantrum than a request for removal company assistance. Are you sure it’s clothes, furniture and furnishings that you should be getting rid of?

Deep breath ... let’s unpack all this baggage (pun intended).

Your husband passed away recently and you're focusing on getting rid of his belongings. Ok, so call a local charity and ask them to collect your husband’s things. All good charitable foundations have vehicles that will transport your donations to their local shops (I've used them myself).  

Next on the list, selling your home. A large house is a nuisance, I agree. Make sure that you find a reputable realtor in your area (ask your healthy friends for recommendations) and discuss with the agent all the particulars – what you want, where you want it and when. This won’t be a new concept to your real estate agent so you can trust them to shoulder a good amount of the administrative burden – it’s what they do. Also, you can inquire about them helping you with selling your superfluous furniture and fixtures.

However, I suspect that you already know all this.  

You make no mention of how long you were married, what your husband died of or if you nursed him through ill health. but I can detect in every syllable of your letter that you are depressed. This is such a common but misunderstood emotion after the loss of a partner. Whether you jumped back into your life with a lighter heart or wallowed in sadness and regret day after endless day, it still takes a mighty amount of self-awareness to deal with the changes and to pull yourself towards “normal” again.

Once you’ve managed the obligatory domestic tasks, do yourself a favor and stop being productive for a while. Seek bereavement counseling and allow yourself a little time to mend whatever is broken.

If after that you're up to it, take a vacation, go somewhere peaceful and inspirational. Perhaps try something new, albeit relaxing. Learn something about yourself. And make friends again.

 

Dear Miss Nora: I'm sitting here writing to you through gnashing dentures because it sounds like little Beirut in my neighborhood! Long before the 4th of July I‘ve had to endure fireworks and constant popping, booming and banging every single night. Now it’s long past Independence Day and I'm still having to suffer the rockets and loud explosions, and late into the night, too.

It seems to be getting worse every year. Who can I complain to to get it to stop? I'm not a killjoy but months of this nonsense is ridiculous! – Banging Mad in Bangor

Dear Banging: Oh, trust me, I feel your pain – and I am a killjoy. However, despite how irritating this noise pollution is, there’s little I can offer you in the way of constructive advice.I tried complaining to local authorities and was essentially accused of being treasonous for my lack of patriotic pride.

So, I took matters into my own hands and at the first crack of a firework or the zip zip zip of a whistler shooting into the air, I start playing Christmas music … loudly and long into the night. And I mean the good stuff – Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and anyone else from our era of quality Jingle Bells!

Only once have I been asked to stop. Only once was I approached by someone too young to know of  I'll Be Home for Christmas or Winter Wonderland.

My reply to both parties was, if you can infuriate me with fireworks from June to August with supposedly patriotic racket night after night, I’m entitled to retaliate by blasting the entire neighborhood with some equally unseasonable, yet definitively holiday music.

So now, amidst all the uproar of Independence Day, my neighbors are also treated to some traditional Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow or Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas for as long as the firecrackers are exploding.

It doesn’t solve the problem but it certainly evens the score!

 

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