Spousal Caregiver’s Dilemma: Unpredictable Spending.

I think I’m hoarding.

Although research tells me I’m not.  Symptoms of hoarding include:

  • acquiring excess

  • an inability to part with it.  (I have given away much in care packages to others who are in more straitened circumstances than I find myself.)

  • unsanitary conditions (never in my place) and

  • clutter–(only occasionally in my office, and that’s papers!)

So I’m not technically hoarding.  But I don’t know when Chris is going to succumb. But I do know that when he does?  Financially I’ll be, well, let’s just say less than comfortable.

So I’m storing up staple items for when that day comes.

I’ve never had any trouble getting a job, but at my age?  Let’s just say employment options are limited.

But I tell myself there will be less need to work.  Less food consumed.  Fewer commodities required.

And I am resourceful.  For example, I’m an excellent cook who has always enjoyed the challenge of making a tasty meal out of just about anything I find in the kitchen.

So why is it so hard for me to make a list and buy only what is on it?  Do other women in a similar position find themselves doing the same thing—buying ridiculous amounts of food and other household staples?

How common is it for women about to become widows, to stock up?  Does it happen only in income-restricted families?

I wonder if the opposite is true; if the fear of being income-restricted after the spouse’s death leaves some women unable to spend money, even for necessities?

I need to introduce a new mantra to my grocery shopping days:  I have enough.  I have plenty.  How fortunate I am to have enough.

Yours truly,

Margaret Jean.

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