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Moving and Mourning: How to Relocate After the Loss of a Loved One


Photo courtesy of Burst

Moving and Mourning: How to Relocate After the Loss of a Loved One

If you’re reading this article, you are probably grieving the recent loss of a loved one. For that, I
am so very sorry. Grief is difficult, complex, and powerful. It might be especially difficult if
children are involved. You’ll need to make room for your own grief while also parenting your
children through theirs.

While you can’t fast-forward your healing process, you can move through it. Sometimes, the
best thing the bereaved can do for their own well-being is relocate after a loss. Some people do
this because the deceased loved one was the primary breadwinner, and they can no longer
afford their home. Others do it because it is simply too painful living with constant reminders of
their loved one.

Whatever the case is for your situation, relocating may provide a much-needed change of
scenery and fresh start after losing your loved one. If you take some time to weigh your options
and determine that moving is best for your situation, here’s how to manage the logistics of your

Buying and/or Selling a Home

Whether you’re selling a home you’ve inherited or a home you formerly shared with your
deceased loved one, you’ll undoubtedly want the process to be as smooth and stress-free as
possible. When it comes to inherited homes and estate laws, it’s usually best to work with a
professional, as these laws can be very complex. Meanwhile, if you’re selling a home that you
shared with your loved one, you can check with a financial planner to ensure you’re making the
right decision.

Whatever you do, don’t hastily decide to move. The grief process is full of complex emotions,
and sometimes it’s better to give yourself a few months before making a decision. That way,
you’re making the best possible long-term choice with a calmer mind. If you do end up buying or
selling a home, you’ll likely want to work with a trusted realtor. Try to find someone who is
knowledgeable and compassionate and isn’t a pushy salesperson. Having an experienced
professional to assist with this process will take a lot of the stress off your shoulders during this
difficult time.

Moving Day

Moving is stressful and emotional for most people. When coupled with the stages of grief, not to
mention the unexpected emotions that will arise when you start going through your loved one’s
belongings, moving day logistics can be overwhelming. One way to lessen the emotional impact
of your move is to have help.

You don’t have to go through your entire moving process alone. You could ask trusted friends or
relatives to help you, or if that’s not an option, you could hire professional movers. Sometimes, it
really is better to leave your move to the professionals. Moving companies can assist with
packing your items into boxes, safely transporting them to your new home, and unloading them
from the moving truck. Hiring professionals can be one way to reduce stress, along with
reducing the chances of injuries or damaged items. To find a reputable moving company, you
could look at online reviews as well as ask your friends and family who they recommend. Be
sure to compare rates so that you’re not overcharged.

The Tough Stuff

Emotions run high during times of grief, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Especially if you
lived with your loved one, you might face some tough decisions, such as how to determine
which of your departed loved one’s items to keep or discard. Grief expert Nancy Berns, Ph.D.,
recommends resisting the urge to hang onto every possession. Instead, give yourself some time
to consider these decisions. As you decide which items to keep or sell, ask yourself these
questions: What meaning do I attach to this item? Does it feel too soon to sell it? And would my
loved one approve of my decision to sell it?

Loss is devastating, yet unavoidable. Sometimes, relocating to a new home after the loss of a
loved one provides you with the fresh start you need. You can honor the memory of your loved
one while also continuing to live your life. With some resilience, it is possible to move through
your grief and find joy in life again.