Grief: The natural emotional response resulting from a significant loss – especially the death of a loved one.
Grief can result in low energy, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and can make even small efforts feel like Herculean tasks. So, when faced with the prospect of moving after the death of a family member, it’s easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. Should you do it? How can you do it?
At Be Bold Psychology and Consulting, we can’t make it easy, but we can try to answer some of the biggest questions you have about moving after the death of a family member and loved one.
Why Move After a Loss?
For some people, leaving a home that’s filled with memories of their loved one is unimaginable. For others, a move might feel like a practical way to manage life after loss, potentially for financial, emotional, or any combination of other reasons that make this decision feel like the best option.
There are a variety of reasons you might choose to move after the death of someone close, including:
- Needing to reduce housing costs.
- Buying a smaller home that’s easier to maintain alone.
- Moving closer to your support system.
- Separating yourself from triggers that lead to painful memories.
- Starting over in a new place.
Whatever your reason, give yourself time to decide if moving is the right call. Grief can affect your ability to make decisions, and you don’t want to spend time and money moving only to regret it later. In fact, seeking the support of a therapist may be helpful as you are navigating the complex emotions and practicalities of a big decision like relocating. If you’re still feeling stuck in that tightened budget and exploring the cost of therapy online or in person, know that there are great options out there. Plus, your mental health is worth investing into.
How to Sell Quickly When You Need to Move
The home buying and selling process is challenging at the best of times. When you’re wrapping up a loved one’s affairs and navigating your own healing process, selling your house by owner may feel like too much to add to your plate.
Instead, connect with a local realty group who can sell your home quickly and help you find the right property for your needs and budget. Sellers who are staying in the same area can hire one agent to buy and sell and save on commission fees. Keep in mind that you may be asked to stage your home and keep it show-ready throughout the selling process. This can absolutely be difficult, as completing daily tasks can be challenging while also managing grief. Additionally, you may not be ready to make decisions about what to do with some of the things in your home. This is all hard, and it all makes complete sense. However, having a support system, a therapist, and/or a professional stager and cleaner may be helpful in this home transition process.
If, for any number of reasons, you need to move quickly, selling to a real estate investor gives you cash in hand. You may get less for the sale, but you’ll gain the ability to move on quickly without the stress of fixing up your home to sell.
Finding a New Place
While your real estate agent will be there to guide you every step of the way, it’s up to you to choose the ideal property. And if you’re either looking to cut expenses or unsure about where you want to live, consider renting in the meantime, until you get a feel for what fits. A short-term rental gives you some breathing room to find the ideal living space until you’re ready to put down money toward a new home or condo.
How to Make Moving Manageable
Never is hiring a full-service moving company more justified than when you’re relocating after the death of a family member. When every household item triggers a cascade of memories and grief, attempting to pack everything yourself is simply too difficult and draining. If moving company services are too expensive, rent a moving truck and hire packing and loading help, or consider asking family and friends for assistance.
If facing your deceased loved one’s belongings is too difficult, wait to sort through them. You may spend a little more on packing and moving, but you’ll have more time to make decisions that honor your loved one’s memory at a time that also honor’s your own emotions and needs.
You may also need to have conversations with those around you relating to your decision to move. Whether it is your children, in-laws, or neighbors, remember that this decision of selling your home is ultimately yours to make. Consider writing out your thoughts ahead of time, making a bullet-pointed list of what you need to say. Practice reciting it several times before the conversation, including with a trusted friend or grief therapist, if possible. You can also ask for trusted friends, family members, or a mental health therapist to join in on the conversations with you; remember, you are not alone.
As difficult as moving will be, there’s a lot to look forward to in your new home. Instead of thinking about what you’re leaving behind, focus on what’s ahead. From decorating your future home to securing your financial health, there’s a lot to gain from a fresh start.
The professionals at Be Bold Psychology and Consulting understand how grief and trauma affects our bodies and minds. Our grief counselors in North Carolina can help you through your grieving process and the difficult decisions that surround it. You can self-schedule a free 20-minute consult via our appointment request, and start receiving therapy for grief and loss today!