When you go through a major loss, you may not be prepared for how grief changes your everyday life. Adapting to these changes can be challenging, and part of that challenge is figuring out how to move forward. For some people, moving to a new home and possibly even a new city is the best way to move forward in life.
There are many good reasons for starting fresh in a new home after loss. Your old home may contain too many memories that are holding you back from creating a new life. Maybe this loss has led you to seek a career change or to explore a new hobby. Or you may want to be closer to loved ones who can support you right now. It’s absolutely essential to avoid too much isolation, which may mean moving to have your support system nearby. According to Tiny Buddha, giving yourself permission to move forward is one of the best ways to find yourself through grief.
Whatever your reasons are for moving, all of these factors will impact what you’re looking for in a home and the overall logistics of the process.
- Careful Planning – Since you’re already going through such a major life change, you’ll want to be extra careful about planning so that it’s easier to keep up with all the moving “to-dos.” Even if you’re a moving pro, critical steps can be overlooked if you don’t have a plan. Part of this should include a moving timeline for what needs to be done at each stage. Pay special attention to the critical period of about four weeks before your moving day. This is when you should have all packing supplies and a plan for packing and labeling strategically. Be sure to keep essential documents organized too. It’s common for your mind to be in a fog when you’re grieving, which is why staying organized is especially important.
- Finding the Right Home – Buying a new home is always a big decision, and you want to find the one that suits your needs for this next stage in life. Go into your home search with an open mind, and consider what those needs are. For example, if you’ve lost your spouse, you may not need as much space and can save money by downsizing. You also want to think about the features you want in your new home. If you’re starting a new career or hobby, maybe you need space for a home office. Whatever you’re looking for, the most important thing is to communicate with your real estate agent about your situation so they can help guide you in the right direction.
Even though starting fresh in your new home is a good change, moving can be stressful for anyone, especially for someone who is still grieving. It helps to be prepared for some of the tasks and emotions you will face.
- Sorting Belongings – If packing includes sorting through your loved one’s belongings, be prepared to take enough time for this process. You don’t want to make any rushed decisions and get rid of something you end up regretting. If you aren’t ready to sort through everything, it’s okay to store some things until later. When you do tackle it, the blog Marty’s Musings recommends asking for help so it isn’t overwhelming. They also suggest setting achievable goals, and then giving yourself a reward for what you accomplish.
- Managing Emotions – While you’re busy handling the logistics of moving, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. Grief is a time when you need self-care the most, which means meeting your physical needs like resting and eating a nourishing diet, as well as emotional care like engaging in positive grief activities.
Some people throw themselves into the nitty gritty of decision-making, while others feel stuck and have a hard time with decisions. Either way, it’s important to realize that moving forward doesn’t mean leaving grief or your loved one’s memory behind. Making this move may not be easy, but it is a positive step in the right direction.
Written By: Lucille Rosetti