More challenges after the loss of a spouse. Who will clean the yard?

After my husband died, I sometimes slowly and sometimes abruptly dealt with the changes in my life.  Taking his name off the bank account and health insurance, filing the paperwork for life insurance and waiting for the autopsy report to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit were all challenging feats I dealt with in the first 6 months after my loss.

FInding out the car was not inspected, overdue for registration, and had a flat tire while adding gas to the tank one day was a bit embarrassing.  Calling the chimney guy to help me rid the warm brick cavity of a giant squirrel’s nest was a good call.  And replacing the back deck before it caved in on someone walking across it was a good call on my part.

When the weather warms up after a long cold winter, I get very excited about planting some fresh annuals and watching the perennial plants I took from my dad’s garden begin to grow.

My dad loved to get his hands dirty in the gardens around our yard.  If there was extra space, he would arrange a wildflower garden.  He would occasionally stop along the side of the highway on trips to Maine to discover and then transplant a beloved jack in the pulpit or columbine that no one had seen before.  The south east corner of our yard was designated for vegetables and he certainly had the magic touch for growing pumpkins.

WIDOW cleaning yard after loss of spouse

how to maintain the yard as a widow

As an adult I have lived in a number of places and we always did the landscaping ourselves.  When I first met Mike he owned and operated his own landscaping business. He knew all the ins and outs of mowing a lawn and planting seeds and fertilizing.  He had weed whackers, blowers, several types of mowers and many useful yard tools.

Well, we did take care of the landscaping on our own for years.  Basically he mowed the lawn and I weeded a few flower gardens.  When our sons were old enough to rake and bag leaves in the yard each Autumn we put them to work.  Eventually they were old enough to mow the lawn and earn a few dollars so that helped too.

In our current yard, the problem is carrying the lawn mower from the front yard to the back yard. You need to lift the machine and carry it up a flight of stairs. The boys seemed to be able to figure that out and with a little persistent nagging, the job was always done.

However, the times are changing.  The boys aren’t always home and have jobs to do.  Last summer they were both away for the whole summer and I was quite perplexed as to how I was going to lift the lawn mower to the back yard?  Plus with my busy travel schedule I’m not the most reliable landscaper.

I made a brave effort to weed the garden beds and bag up leaves from last fall that never had made that fall clean up.  I’m a little concerned about too much weeding on my own after having a bad case of poison ivy last summer.  I am highly allergic and can tell you that is a rash I do want to avoid at all costs.

The weed whacker in the garage hasn’t worked in years, and I do not have anyone to help me carry the lawnmower up the stairs from the front yard to the back yard.

Thank goodness for Strep Throat.  I went to the walk in clinic this morning and was diagnosed with Strep Throat.  I am on medication for one week and contagious for a day or two.  As I sat at home nursing my second cup of coffee and swallowing this oversized Amoxicillin pill, I became annoyed at the buzzing sound of leaf blowers and weed whackers. WAIT…

I ran outside in my slippers and negotiated, more like just nicely asked, the workers who were cleaning my neighbor’s yard if I could be next.  They agreed!  I am so excited.  They spent a few hours raking and blowing and whacking this yard; even my gutters which are really hard to reach were cleaned.  I have them scheduled to do a few more projects as well as a weekly mowing service.  What is a widow to do? I can’t do this all by myself and I do like living in my house still.  Won’t it be wonderful to have a clean yard each week?

I can still plant some flowers and some hanging baskets.  Maybe I will set up the fire pit and enjoy the yard.  I am so looking forward to the nice weather. Read here to see photos of my garden in spring.

I am revisiting this post one year later and can assure you that hiring landscapers was the right way to go to help with my yard work.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1.  Get a Recommendation

  2.  Ask in Advance how much each service will be

  3.  How will you pay the bills?

  4.  Do they have a legitimate business? A business card?

  5.  Get estimates for spring and fall clean ups before they start.

yard work as a widow

New York memorial flower garden



At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.

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5 Responses

  1. Therese says:

    After spending 3 days cleaning up my grass and debris from my side yard we gave in and hired a landscaper to finish the rest. Money well spent. Now I can enjoy my yard and no poison ivy🌺

  1. July 26, 2018

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    […] I’m always looking for new adventures and the ones where I don’t have to pack a bag and fly somewhere can be a fun diversion and a good way to put off the inevitable chores around the house. […]

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    […] I’m always looking for new adventures and the ones where I don’t have to pack a bag and fly somewhere can be a fun diversion and a good way to put off the inevitable chores around the house. […]

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