How Moving to a New Home Can Get You Through Grief
When you’re grieving for a loved one, especially the death of a spouse, part of the process at some point will mean starting to move forward with your life. For some people, moving to a new house is the best way to make a fresh start. Whether you’re moving to be closer to your support system or need a change of scenery to focus on your future, relocating after a loss may be just what you need.
Move On With a Growth Mindset
Finding a new way forward after losing a loved one comes with a roller coaster of emotions. You may feel overwhelmed and even guilty when you begin to focus on rebuilding your life. The reality is that moving on doesn’t mean you’re leaving your loved one’s memory behind. Good Therapy describes moving on as living with a “both/and” approach to life rather than either/or. You don’t have to trade in your sadness and memories of your loved one for hope and growth. You can move forward and at the same time continue to miss the person you lost.
This both/and approach should help you banish guilt from your mindset and instead focus on growth. Many people who are grieving feel vulnerable and even scared of the future, but the best way to move forward is to be open to what is unknown. The unknown can be scary, but it can also hold opportunity for growth that will pave your way forward. Moving to a new home is a big change, and it may be hard to imagine your day-to-day life in a new space, but it can also be the blank slate you need for growth to be possible.
Create a New Space
When your significant other dies, an overwhelming feeling of his or her absence is often most profound at home. Many people who are grieving the loss of their spouse say their home feels empty and quiet, heightening their sense of loneliness. Starting fresh in a new home gives you the chance to interject life into the new space. On a practical level, it’s a big change to your daily habits, but when you move to a new home, you can set up your living space and create new daily habits your own way.
Another reason to consider moving is if you are isolated from close friends and family who will support you during this time of bereavement. Even though grief can make you feel alone, it’s important to avoid living in isolation because over time that can lead to depression. You need to be able to surround yourself with people who can support you.
Managing a Move
Once you make the decision to move, packing and going through your loved one’s belongings may feel like a daunting task. Try not to rush this process if you don’t have to, but also keep in mind that it may never feel like the perfect time. Refinery29 recommends creating a collection of the items that are most meaningful to you so that they’re all in one space. This makes the process of sorting through your loved one’s mementos less daunting and also makes it easier to keep the items that really matter right where you can see them and enjoy fond memories.
If going through belongings is more than you can handle right now, consider hiring a packing service and professional movers, such as HireAHelper, to take that off your plate. Using a service like this means you don’t have to worry about the logistics of moving, and instead you can focus on your path forward and confront the emotions of sorting through things when you’re ready.
It’s hard to know when the “right” time is for any step after a major loss. Part of the grieving process inevitably means moving on with life. If moving to a new home helps you through that process, the best thing you can do is give yourself permission to pave a way forward through growth, and accept help along the way.