One of the changes that was set in motion in August was the decision to sell The Boy's Mother's house in Finsbury Park. When she died over a decade ago, the place lay empty for more than a year whilst the emotional turmoil that her death had caused settled. Although it wasn't truly my responsibility, I decided to take charge, as things couldn't stay as they were. With all the upset, it was too soon to sell the place, so it was rented out. Since then there have been good tenants, and not so good tenants, but generally it worked well. It was quite a drain in terms of the cost of maintenance, and the time needed to manage it, but there was a good rental income. In truth I'd never much liked it as a house simply because it was always problematic....there were always repairs that needed doing, and nothing seemed to last as it should. When it was first purchased it had been bedsits, and the quality of the conversion work was not fantastic, and there were recurring problems...leaks, cracks, electrical issues and so on. But now that The Boy and his sister are into adulthood and want to go their own ways, it was the right time for it to be sold.
Of course the process wasn't entirely smooth - the English way of selling property seems designed to be as difficult and stressful as possible. Everyone in the process seems fine with being difficult and unreasonable. Again, I took control, and spent hours, days, weeks negotiating and managing the process. An offer had come in pretty quickly, and exchange took place the weekend before Christmas, with completion on 5th January.
That was truly a moment for reflection for everyone. I think The Boy had closed his mind to it...he was after all only 8 when he left there. I hope at some stage he will put time aside to reflect on how his life changed and how that has affected him and will affect him in the future. For his sister, who was a teenager at that time, there must have been many more memories, and I'm sure that her visit to empty the house of furniture must have been painful. Even for me the memories of the place are still very vivid. Some amazingly good, some truly awful. The moment of sale was one that managed to be both a happy one, and a very sad one. But it was the lifting of a burden, the closing of a door, and I think for everyone the opportunity to move onward. The grieving process was complete.