Moving After the Loss of a Loved One


By Lucille Rosetti

If you have grieved the loss of a loved one, the idea of moving to a new environment with fresh opportunities could be on your mind. Embracing a new way of living after death, is a great way of moving forward rather than moving on. Here’s how to go about making a permanent change of scenery during this difficult time in life.  

Before you put your house on the market and start looking for a new one, you’ll want to come up with a budget. This should include what it’ll cost to sell your home and what you’ll be left with to make the move to a home you can afford. Once you know exactly what you want, get a local expert to help you do some of the legwork including financing, pricing, advertising and staging. This is a big decision and lifestyle change — one that you should make slowly and surely.   

 Packing everything up can be the hardest part of this process as it’s like having to say goodbye all over again. While it’s perfectly normal to feel a wide range of emotions as you decide what to keep and what to discard, it helps if you don’t do it alone. Going through their belongings with family and friends could end up being therapeutic in that you spend the day reminiscing on good times. Realistically, you won’t be able to preserve every item. Keep in mind that their objects are just things and nothing can take away your love for the person they once belonged to. Refinery29 reminds us that, “practicality and emotions can coexist, and focusing on real-world necessities is an important part of dealing with death.” Try and limit the special items that are sentimental in value to one box and take photos of other things you wish to remember but can’t move with you. Rather than feeling guilty about giving their things away, know that it is better they go to good use instead of collecting dust.  

To make moving day easier on everyone, consider hiring movers and packers to help out. Chances are, you will be emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed. Depending on how many bereavement days you are given for your loss, you may have little to no time to pack.  

While it may seem nerve-racking to let other people touch your personal items, The Spruce points out that, “there are lots of options available from packing your entire household to packing selected things only.” A professional will ensure that your precious items are packed properly, preventing a break during the move and have insurance if anything goes wrong.  

 Additionally, movers can save you the physical labour involved in loading and unloading a truck. They’ll have the tools to take apart appliances or heavy furniture and be able to put them back together. What would take you a whole week can be done in a day or two relieving you to do more important tasks such as changing your address, making new keys and starting up those utility bills. Just spending the day enjoying a fun activity in your loved one’s honour while the pros do the work will be worth the cost of hiring them in the first place.  

There are many stages to grief and every person is unique, so it’s important that you do what you feel is best for you during this turbulent time. While moving seems like it erases what’s left of their physical presence, you can still keep your loved one nearby in your heart. Be open to a change of scenery and all the good a new start can do for you.   

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