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In the bereavement group I attended after my husband’s death, one of the dozen or so women in the group had never carried her own suitcase or pumped gas into her car.  While the group was meeting she confessed to being extremely nervous about taking a trip that required both handling her own suitcase and pumping gas.

I was certainly more self-sufficient than she was but when it came time for me to buy my coop apartment, I realized that this would be a massive new effort on my own.

I was flanked at the closing by my real estate attorney and my sales broker and confronting countless documents that would legally bind my fate to a New York City apartment.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that my husband was an attorney, so I could always count on him to thoroughly read all legal documents.  He told me on several occasions that “reading something very carefully, no matter how turgid the writing, was extremely important”.  Trust me when I say that I read the proprietary lease, contract of sale, rider to the contract and countless other documents as carefully as I could until my head swam.

I can only say that it was a daunting experience, but like so much else, I was able to get through it and, after it was over and I was handed the apartment keys, felt pretty good.   As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.