Thursday, February 27, 2014

Making a Grieving House a Home Again

I have been living in this house for twenty years making it a home with my husband of close to thirty-nine years. We had been friends since high school, making that bond one of forty-five years. Although our personalities were quite different (he an ENTJ, me an INFJ), we shared the same strong family values and respect for predecessors, family, friends, and events making us who we were. Therefore, words to describe our house(s) would be cozy, welcoming, eclectic, and above all, nature-inspired - a combination of heirlooms, vintage finds, modern and traditional art, traditional furniture, and collections reflecting our personalities. We truly had a shared space; however, to tell the truth, these combinations sometimes seemed frustrating compared to new showcase houses. I loved my home but sometimes the decor mixture made its aging into its own mid-life and in need of repair and updating both expensive and confusing issues.

Almost two years ago, I lost my husband suddenly. That time seems like yesterday, but so much family living has gone on, in both grief and chaos. The great good is that he was a great man with preparations for the future. And one of those preparations was his lifelong encouragement for me to grow independent and brave - some vital lessons left out of my 1950s and 1960s upbringing. So now, here I stand independent and brave trying to figure out how to make a grieving house a home again.

I am still very confused about how that can be done on each individual's personal level, but as an INFJ more goes on in the inside of me than the outside. Researching and more researching, meditating and more meditating, are not problems for me. Action is.

Where do I begin for the most cost-effective approach since I am a DIY kind of girl? My strength: I taught high school English, so I know how to research. This type of research would definitely not be academic, so I went to everybody's favorite visual journeling - Pinterest. This process took awhile as you can see from my Pinterest boards, but again I know that researching takes much reading, generalizing, categorizing, rearranging, purging, and focus to come to the point of discovery. Finally all came together for me.

I discovered Beth of Home Stories A to Z. She had put together a series with several guest decorators and bloggers called "How to Decorate for the DIYer". In the next post I will show what helped me to take action at home.