Good Madness and Magic and Dreams and Surprising Myself

Good madness and magic and dreams and surprising myself are all pinkie promises I made to a friend on New Year’s Day. My newest adventure (buying a house — a very small, very old house in a very small, very old town to be sure, but still a house) fulfills all those promises.

Did I surprise myself? Oh, yes! I don’t particularly like owning things — they weigh heavy on my soul — and I especially never wanted to own a house (so many possible problems and such a responsibility), but after the death of my homeless brother this past summer, the idea got planted in my head, and I let it blossom. In a way, it’s his final gift to me.

This latest adventure, while potentially life-transforming, has been relatively sedate so far. Mostly, I’ve just been e-signing documents, figuring out the logistics of a move, and packing.

It should be interesting, after all these years of feeling lost, of not knowing where to go — of not knowing how to even figure out where to go — to see what happens now that I’ve made my decision. What will I do with the empty space in my head? The space all that thinking —and rethinking and re-rethinking — has taken up.

So many possibilities!

Some people think it’s weird that I am buying a house I have never seen, but I have seen photos and had two different inspections, so I’m not exactly walking into the situation blindfolded. I don’t know how I will feel when I walk into the door and see the house in person for the first time, but I expect to be excited, to feel trepidation, maybe even to . . . fall in love with the place.

I’ll have to wait until I get there to post photos. I don’t want to post the link to the house because I don’t like the idea of the whole world knowing exactly where I will be living, but soon we will all see it!

Closing is in six days. I won’t be there for the closing, but I will be there a few days afterward.

And then my grand adventure of good madness and magic and dreams and surprising myself will really begin.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

16 Responses to “Good Madness and Magic and Dreams and Surprising Myself”

  1. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    This makes me happy. Having a house seems to provide an anchor to people, a place they can always go no matter how much traveling they do, and feel comfortable with themselves in the setting they’ve created.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’m getting an inkling this is true — that I will feel comfortable with myself in the setting I will create. If nothing else, I have the tarantula migration to look forward to!

  2. Wanda Hughes Says:

    My feeling is that you will love owning a place of your own, having a place that is all yours, no sharing a frig, a bathroom, no sharing anything. You’ll have your things out and about you. There is a real sense of belonging to have a place of one’s own. Blessing upon your home dear. Please send me an address when you can. Bill and I send you most hearty congrats and best wishes.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Wow. Not sharing anything. Just the thought sends shivers of delight up my spine! My sister mentioned that, too, about owning a house giving her a sense of belonging. It will be an added bonus, and I so need that!

      Of course, I will send my address, along with the fervent hope that you will visit one day.

      Thank you, and thank Bill.

  3. Lovey Says:

    Pat, first of all – wishing you every happiness and contentment with your new house. I’m sure it won’t be long before it becomes your HOME, your refuge, and all yours! There will be a sad void, because you will be going there without Jeff’s physical presence. But – like you said, you carry him around in your heart now.

    When my husband died 2-1/2 years ago, it was like all of a sudden – I had ‘inherited’ our house. At the time my Mom was still living with me, but she died 3 months after he did, so I was really all alone except for my 4 dogs & other pets, a widowed orphan is what I felt like. My late dad, whom I adored, was a homebuilder by trade, and he and my husband built our home thirty years prior, also Dad’s final project. So – this is just more than a house, it is the place that both my father and husband built, and I loved turning it into a place of beauty, and comfort for my husband & myself. Unfortunately – we did not have children, but lots of pets. Where did that time go? It seems like we were just moving in from our mobile home. But – how strange it still is – to know the place is really all mine, and every tool, or piece of equipment, computer, TV, etc that belonged to my husband, is now mine. How I wish it was still ours. For the longest time, after he passed, I just couldn’t feel right even turning on the big screen TV in his rec room, because it was his, and I respected his belongings. I avoided that room like the plague, because everything in it screamed out that he isn’t here anymore. It took months before I was able to go in there, and do some straightening up, because it was left just the way he left it, on that terrible night I took him to ER. I have been able to make some changes here & there to the house & yard, and upgraded a little, even added to the deck out in the backyard, and put in a frog pond beside the deck, of course – the work was done by my neighbor/handyman who is like my son. He helps with the upkeep, inside & out. He knew my husband, and loved him like a father. That means so much to me, because we talk about him as Jason is working on my projects.

    I am sure it won’t be long until you fall in love with your new home, and it will truly become part of you and who you are. And – I also feel that you will put just enough of Jeff in here, to make it even more warm & special to you alone. Will look forward to seeing those pictures.
    Wishing you Godspeed!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’m not sure I could have done what you are doing — remaking your shared house into a home just for you. But how wonderful to have a legacy of living in a house built with such love!

      And yes, there is a sense of . . . disrespect . . . to use their things, though I often wore his old coat (to the despair of some of my grief group friends).

      Ooh. A frog pond! How delightful.

      Wishing us both peace in the homes we are creating (or will be creating) for ourselves.

  4. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Good luck with the move, Pat. Let me know if the house turns out to be haunted.

  5. Terry J Says:

    Only have time for a quick question…Why did some of your grief friends not like that you wore Jeff’s coat?

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I don’t know. Partly because it was too big for me, possibly because of a stain. Oddly, I don’t remember ever wearing it to the grief group. I saved it for walking when it was cold. What’s weird is that she remembered the coat, not me.

  6. LMH Says:

    Awesome Pat! xx

  7. paulakaye Says:

    I am so happy to hear this. I think of you often. And your book is still bringing me comfort.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’m glad on both counts, that my book still brings you comfort and that you’re happy to hear about my buying a house.

      It’s a strange experience, that’s for sure! Just the buying. Living there will be a new adventure.

  8. Terry J Says:

    Pat have you ever heard of Soaring Spirits…a website for widowed people. It might be a place to make folks aware of your book. Here’s the address if you want to check it out….whenever I know your busy with house right now.

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