Does a house actually matter ?

I lost my lovely man , Baz in January 2023 and I’m still grief - stricken. I feel displaced and feel as if I don’t belong in this world if this makes sense . As a result of severe mental ill health after my loss , I decided to move from our rented home in October. I was only able to stay there half the week , spending the other half with my dad . My loneliness and heartbreak got worse and worse. After the move to a council one bed flat I was optimistic of a fresh start . Well cut a long story short , unable to settle . I was hospitalised in December after collapsing unconscious and being discovered by my son who called the emergency services to force entry - I had pneumonia and kidney failure. After discharge from hospital I’ve not returned to the flat , naughty I realise but I cannot face it . So 2 months spent with dad again. Going back to flat to check on things and get post . So , got an exchange lined up again with council to a much nicer flat in a nicer area . Not looking forward to here either - this should go ahead around the 8th April, but is not without its problems , can’t officially take my cat ( she will be smuggled in ) . The original house I left in October is being renovated and the landlord says I can go back . It needed work like damp doing , so that’s partly why I left apart from the misery of being alone there . Private landlord uncertainty etc means I’m taking the exchange flat as insurance in case anything goes wrong . Also the estimated time for move - in is April so not exactly specific. Could be delayed I suppose. I’m not going to live in the flat properly until I know about the house - it’s purely a safety net thing . I’m emotionally attached to this house so god knows what I’ll do if it falls through- I’ll live in the new flat I suppose. I’m effectively putting my mind on hold until I know the outcome of when / if :crossed_fingers: the house will be ready to go back to . I have this notion that going back will solve all my grief problems and in my head I’ve decided this is my best option for happiness even though I left because I was so unhappy I couldn’t stay there more than 3 days a week .
Just thinking about all this is exhausting- I’m desperate to actually settle somewhere and find the elusive bit of peace of mind I’m constantly searching for . I fear that 12 months down the line I’ll be facing the same dilemma- inability to settle , uncertainty and unhappiness.
Does anyone recognise these feelings or experiences? Or is this because of my ongoing mental illness. I’m just not the same person I was when my partner was alive and it concerns me that I’ve potentially got years of this purgatory ahead of me . I’m 59 , and I could live at least another 20 years. That’s how long I was with my beloved and it feels like such a long time to be stuck in the limbo of life .
My mind is constantly flitting from one potential scenario to another- where will I be happy trying to live ? I really don’t know . Maybe I’ll continue staying with my dad for a while longer and think a bit more . Does anyone else feel totally disconnected from life like this because I’m starting to worry that as I get older , how on earth am I going to cope . I’m not wanting another relationship, even though I’ve got a couple of good make friends. I think this is all it will ever be - friends .

So instead , I’m pinning all my hopes on a house that isn’t even ready to occupy yet as a way to possibly find contentment. Does anyone feel an emotional attachment to a particular place they’re living , or like me , do you feel that anywhere that doesn’t contain your loved one will never actually be a home :cry::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart::cry:


Hello @Ladysuisei6 ,

I’m so sorry for the loss of your Baz. Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m just giving your thread a gentle, “bump” for you - hopefully someone will have some thoughts to share.

Take good care,

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My husband and I moved into our home 18 months before his sudden & unexpected passing. It was our dream house. Our final home that we were going to retire in. We began to totally renovate it. We were still in the process of doing that when he passed.

When Paul first passed I found it unbearable to be here on my own surrounded by all these memories, but I forced myself to do it because it’s only by facing it that it would become the new normal.

I will never leave this house. Everywhere I look I see him - his designs, memories of us working together on each project, his handiwork (we were literally doing it all ourselves). It feels like he is ingrained in the very fabric of the building. In fact I have a friend who is sensitive to energies (she can also feel presences) and she can feel him in our home.

I will never have another romantic partner. Not just because there’s nobody who could possibly measure up to him, but also because I wouldn’t want anyone else in our home. Plus, if it didn’t work out, I would risk losing our home to someone wanting half of everything (I’ve heard several horror stories of this happening).


Penny and I bought our house when it was still far from finished being built. We lived in it for almost 50 years, and improved/modified it several times. So it became part of who we are/were, we could never have moved because it would have been like leaving part of us behind.
In the first few months after she died, I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I just sat tight, and bit by bit I realised that the house we loved had to stay part of us. I look around, seeing lots of things she did, and I smile with the memories of our debates until we agreed on the details.
So there are a huge number of happy memories here which I can recall and be content. I don’t want to run away from the few sad memories.
Of course, there are sad, emotional, times. But they are swamped by the happy memories I keep in this house, I’ll live out the rest of my life surrounded by these memories until I’m in no fit state to care, and someone comes and wheels me out.


@tykey thank you for your perspective. I do tend to think that if you own your home you shared with your wife and built it up from a shell then you will feel differently from living in rented accommodation. This is already more transient and as soon as my Baz died , the house felt like someone else’s ( which it is) . Unfortunately we weren’t in a position to buy property and put down roots - over 20 years , we moved 3 times , not through choice but because private rentals are uncertain. I think I need to find somewhere that I can relax in and remember my love. The option of social housing at least offers a bit more security to settle in x


After my love passed I stopped working in my garden. It was a place that brought me so much joy. I would look at the garden and say what’s the point? We were fixing it up so we could sit on the back deck together and enjoy it. But what’s the point? I have no friends because my husband was my best friend he took the place of everybody. I understand you’re unsettled feeling. Our house is paid off I should be excited I still have 20 years left on the mortgage but I was really good at paying it off. I don’t want to live in the house anymore every time I hear the new song burn It down I feel like it applies to me.

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@Cynsea yes it’s horrible isn’t it when you suddenly associate a place of safety and happiness ie a home with totally alien feelings . I’m generally so unhappy now I’m not sure that changing my surroundings will solve this . I’m going to hopefully move back to where I left in an effort to try . Obviously as I downsized , I have much less now to fill a 2 bedroom house as opposed to a one bedroom flat . I’m laying here thinking why did I do it ? I got rid of so much stuff . It’s only stuff at the end of the day and I’ll have to learn to embrace the minimilaist way of life . I just want to be close to my love once more in our previous house . I’m going for it xxx

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we have been a council tenant for 49 yrs and have been in this house 25 when hubby died but if i could get an exchange i would. a house is only bricks and mortar, memories are what you take with you.


I replied to you before. I have - had the exact same dilemma. I sold the family home, my parents house, and then later wanted it back, the only home I knew. I sold it not being able to stand being in there all alone. now, it is the only place that is home. (never mind someone else owns it now!)

it is a serious problem death and the old home. many widows and widowers sell and get out. they cannot stand being inside a place where their partner once was. then one becomes rootless. many are in your position. many. I would at some point accept things, as you say stop mulling it and just do, and after a few years, you may be more healed. the bite of the loss is less severe.

thank goodness you have your father as an anchor.

such a loss is severely disorienting … you can have your experiment go into your old home, try it. you are young yet and may discover a new chapter in life while having your experiment. that new eventual chapter then may settle it all.

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Hi @Ladysuisei6, I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. Death comes with so many other stresses and complications, doesn’t it? As if it wasn’t hard enough already.

My partner died in November. I moved into his rented house with him in October 2022 and we lived here together until he ended our relationship, shortly before he died. I decided to move back in for a few months, partly because I love the house, partly to come to terms with the loss, and partly to make the packing and sorting easier and less of a rush.

I’m moving out at the end of April to go traveling for a while, and I have very mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it’ll be good for my head to have a change of scenery: I have some very painful memories in this house, along with the beautiful ones, and I know that staying here will in some ways keep me trapped in the past. But on the other hand, it will feel like letting go of a huge part of him and our relationship, and I’m dreading being separated from him even further.

I think there are pros and cons to both. No matter where I am, he’s not coming back and I will miss him and wish he were here with me. And no matter where I am, the things that mean the most will come with me.

I hope that wherever you end up, you find some peace. None of this was our choice, and I don’t think there’s a right of wrong way to deal with it xx


I’m so sad about your loss I can feel the turmoil you are in in your words and just wanted to say that even though I don’t have any advice I know the uncertainty of private landlords I really do and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone the shock when you get the s.21 possession notice through the letter box out of the blue telling you to be out of your home in 2 months a bereavement on top and it’s unbearable and intolerable and traumatic I wish you well in what you decide to do Take care

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@Bluebell1 yes life is full of uncertainty isn’t it - of course death being the most shocking one of all . I’m still waiting on the house to become available- I’m optimistic for my new tenancy within a week , so even though the private renting is not a secure option, in the short term I’ll feel a bit more peace and security I’m hoping :broken_heart::broken_heart:

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I really hope that your move happens for you @Ladysuisei6
Sending love, hugs and strength

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@Cathphil thank you . I’ve been told that pending the gas safety check I can pick up keys on Friday . I’m very nervous and stressed . I need to be back in the space I shared with my beloved partner :broken_heart::broken_heart:

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Your partner will be with you , keeping you calm, keeping you strong, guiding you, just like he is every day