It's been a rough couple of weeks around here


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I rent the in-law apartment in a big house that I've shared with the owners for about 4 years now. They have their side of the house, I have mine.

Well, my landlord, Robert, disappeared on the 18th (the husband), and was found dead (99% sure of suicide) last Friday.

I've been trying to be supportive of his wife, Alysia, who is now a widow. Yesterday I cut the grass in the whole yard. I've taken her food, been replying to the posts in local community forums asking what others can do or bring, and trying to find someone who will donate some much needed sewer repairs that were most likely what drove her husband to his untimely demise - he disappeared not even a week after being told by the town that it was his responsibility to pay for sewer (and road) repairs even though the leak is 100% under the road and right before the house's line empties into the sewer main.

I've been really impressed with how my landlady is coping. Within a week, she had hired a trash pick-up service (previously her husband took their trash to the dump in his car), is hiring a property management company for repairs, and has been surprisingly resilient (she of course has rough periods, but I think she will get through this).

Robert was a very kindhearted man, but excelled in procrastination. A lot of the stuff that didn't get done around here was because he said he wanted to do it, but then he never got around to doing it. Alysia is not into yard work, previously her husband and his friends did all the outside work. I've already offered to start cutting the grass for her and did that for the first time on Saturday. Maybe I'll built/plant a proper rain garden next year in the boggy part of the front yard where there are currently completely overgrown and out of control somewhat invasive perennials and weeds. But what I'd love to do is refurbish the small concrete pool on their side of the house and turn it into a little pond for Alysia - something her now deceased husband always talked about wanting to do, but never did. We'll see. Obviously, it's too soon now, but I know she loves my little pond on my side, and she's got this perfect poured concrete pond/fountain pool that wouldn't be hard to line and convert to a nice little pond for her - something I know her husband really wanted to do for her, but never got around to. All this, of course, depends on if she can even afford to pay the bills now with a single income. Obviously we are in shock right now and still processing the situation and there are a lot of things up in the air and we're waiting to see where the worst of the fallout will land (it wasn't a complete surprise since we knew he was depressed, but it also wasn't something we saw an imminent risk of happening). Time will tell if things will work out, but I do worry about if we will be able to pay the bills with just the two of us here now. It's a huge house (historical Dutch Colonial built in 1900), the property taxes are upwards of $6000 a year, and it's not easy to heat in the long Vermont winters (the pipes have frozen repeatedly over the past 4 years). I think this winter is going to be hard in many ways, and I hope we can manage.

Robert (landlord, deceased) and Alysia (landlady, widow):
robert-alysia.jpg
 
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j.w

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So sad. Suicide is horrible and I hope you and your landlady will be able to make it somehow w/all the payments etc. Nice of you to be so very helpful to her and I bet she would love a pond.
 

addy1

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So sad to hear. I hope she can find a way to make it. Fantastic you are willing to help her out with the chores.
 
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Wanted to update everyone because I have been so impressed by Alysia's strength over the past few weeks. She has been an absolute powerhouse through this. Things that had been put off for years have been getting done. The missing house number? Fixed, fancy new iron sign. Rodents? Pest control has been called. Trash pick-up has been set up for the first time. She's been able to go back to work due to the massive amount of support her coworkers have been giving her. I speak to her and she sounds solid these days. I did take her cat to the vet for her because he needed to go and she wasn't quite up to that just yet (understandably, he looked like he was near death), but it turned out to be fairly good news (thyroid disease) and so he's going to be OK (he's now on twice daily medicine which she says he is taking like a champ)! I think things are going to be OK. At least I think Alysia will be. The bills are still an unknown at this point. I want to thank everyone for their support/prayers/thoughts. Thank you.
 

addy1

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You are a good friend/neighbor/caring person!
 
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TheFishGuy

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it is wonderful to see you all doing so well, and you are an amazing neighboor! hopefully everything ends up as planned and you all can continue to go through this well .
 

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