Monday, October 1, 2018

Guest Article

I am including this guest article this month as I think what she says could be helpful to others and this is another good resource for all of us.


Lucille created as a means of sharing tools to help people through the grief process. Having lost some of the people closest to her, she understands what it’s like, and how it can be an emotional roller coaster that doesn’t always seem to make sense.  

Moving Tips for Those Seeking a Fresh Start After the Loss of a Loved One

Where we live is strongly tied to the people we love, and vice versa. When we lose a loved one, our current environment can become a painful reminder of that loss. For some, a move -- whether to a new home or a new city entirely -- can be an important part of the healing process.

Why Move?

You can’t run away from your problems, and you surely can’t run away from sadness, grief, and pain. However, a move can spur healing, and it can be a motivator when motivation is hard to come by. New environments almost force you to break old patterns and habits and replace them with new ones. Moving can be described as an act of personal power. Grief puts us in a rut, and a change of scenery can be just the thing to break us out.

Consider Downsizing or a Lateral Move

It’s hard to get off to a fresh start if you saddle yourself with more debt than you can handle. If you’re moving during bereavement, consider downsizing or at least making a lateral move in terms of home size and cost. Before you start looking for new homes, be sure to figure out exactly what your house is worth. Know what your exact financial situation will be before you hire a realtor or even start checking out listings on Zillow. You don’t want to add the stress of a new financial burden on top of an already-stressful period.

Strike a Balance with Your Loved One’s Possessions

Possibly the most difficult part of moving to a new house after a loss is deciding what to keep and what to get rid of in terms of your loved one’s belongings. Depending on who you lost, you could have hundreds of their possessions and dozens of sentimental items connected to your loved one.

Remember to take it slow and be patient with yourself. However, this is going to be hard. One good suggestion is to create a memory box. Fill this physical box with what you can and move on. Another solution is to take enough to pepper you loved one’s memory throughout your new home, but not enough to make it a constant reminder. You can’t keep everything; it’s not logistically sound or emotionally smart. Remember: You can give items away to your loved one’s friends and family. The trash or a donation center aren’t the only options here.

Don’t Move Off the Grid from the Get-Go

A fresh start doesn’t have to mean ghosting on everyone you know and love. When you lose a loved one, you need to lean on your support system -- it’s an integral part of the healing process. As Psychology Today puts it, “friends are essential in our grief for death makes us feel alone and exposed … in friendship we maintain a closeness to others that shows us, without words, that loneliness can be a temporary state.”

Before you move off to a whole new place, consider a move inside your support system radius -- perhaps to a new house in the same town or less than an hour or so away.

Can moving after a major loss give you a fresh start? The answer to this will be different for different people. What we do know is that change promotes growth, and growth is needed when you suffer the loss of a loved one. Above all, don’t make any rash decisions. You can always move. And remember: nothing is permanent. Your current living situation can change. Your future living situation can change, and your grief will subside.

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