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Life & Loss: Making A Move Amidst Grief


As always, thank you so much for visiting the T-O-P Move Management blog. While we do our very best to stay upbeat and positive amidst any variety of transitions and changing circumstances, we’d like to acknowledge that today’s topic is a tough one. When we look at the reality of the reasons why people move – not all of them are rooted in joy. In fact, some of the truly toughest transitions are based in loss. The loss of a spouse or even a child, the loss of health or well-being, even the loss of financial security…it happens more than we would wish upon our clients, friends and loved ones.


When you must consider a move amidst circumstances of loss, here are four things to keep in mind.


#1: Timing.  You always hear that ‘time is of the essence’ and you may feel pressured by the momentum of changes that occur after the loss of a loved one or loss of sight/vision/hearing. Or maybe you have heard the common suggestion to wait a year after the death of a loved one to make any big decisions. In our experience, there really is no hard and fast rule about moving amidst loss – except to do what is best for you. Consider the range of emotions you are feeling as well as the financial and physical challenges associated with the loss, and think if a move would make those things better now, later or likely neve r. Try to limit the amount of stress you are under by taking it one week at a time, and laying out a plan one year at a time.


#2: Advice. Let’s face it – advice is a lot like gray hair – it’s going to happen whether you ask for it or not! While the guidance of friends, neighbors and loved ones is so well-meaning, it can be overwhelming too. Many grief resources suggest getting the ‘best advice’ you can – and sometimes that is professional. Grief counselors, financial advisors, specialized social workers…advice from resources who can relate to your loss and your life’s impact are often most helpful. For example, your children may insist you cannot care for your home alone – but your financial advisor may be able to determine if you have the resources to afford assistance.


#3: Reversibility & Versatility. Sometimes change is thrown at you like a ton of bricks and you can’t do much but duck and cover. If you are required to make some big decisions in a very short amount of time, consider ones that give you time to adapt to your new reality or choose a new path if needed. If selling your home is a financial must – consider staying with a loved one or obtaining a short-term lease until you figure out long-term living arrangements that truly suit you. If you can’t bear to see your loved one’s possessions in the home, consider storing them or housing them with a friend before giving them away. Time many change your perspective, and implementing some adaptability in your decision-making could benefit you in the long term.


#4: Kindness. When your best friend is going through a tough time or major loss, you likely show your most forgiving attitude, most loving heart and most open mind. Permit some self-care and allow yourself the same kindness. Don’t feel like you should tie all loose ends up right away, send handwritten thank you notes for every condolence within a week or pack your home in two days. Be kind to yourself, your healing process and your feelings – just as you do for everyone else.


Last but not least – remember that you are not alone! We strive to make every transition easier – even the most difficult ones. We promise compassion, patience and genuine care for everyone involved. We also have a far-reaching network of like-minded professionals who feel the same, and will do everything we can to ensure making a move amidst loss is as manageable as it can possibly be.


All our best,

Helen & Julie



Resources Used


Open To Hope: http://www.opentohope.com/moving-after-loss-the-grief-of-leaving-the-home-you-love/

Grief Healing: http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2013/04/to-move-or-not-making-decisions-in-wake.html 


Helen Ingwersen