Today’s guest blog is written by Lucille Rosetti, who is writing a book about grief. She writes on how a change of scenery, whether that means moving to a new home or simply making changes in your current one, can be beneficial when grieving.
Moving on by Moving Out
If you’ve lost a loved one, the first step in learning to live without them is giving yourself time to grieve. According to an article in ExpertBeacon, it’s to be expected that the year after the death of a spouse will be very difficult as you face firsts including the holidays and anniversaries. And many of the article’s insights can be applied to the loss of any close loved one, whether or not you were married.
But the article’s author, psychologist Phyllis S. Zilka, emphasizes the importance of reclaiming your independence during the second year after your loss. Reclaiming your independence may even mean reinventing yourself in some ways. Don’t be afraid to seize the opportunity to focus on your own wants and needs. For example, you may take time to travel more or master a new skill.
As you learn to live without your loved one, it’s important not to feel guilty -- or let others make you feel guilty -- about your efforts to move on. Nor should you feel bad if you are ready to make significant life changes soon after your loved one’s death. Although it is important to give yourself ample opportunity process your loss before making major life decisions, there’s no rule book that says you have to wait a year before taking any significant steps forward.
Shedding Stuff, Not Sentiment
Similarly, you shouldn’t feel obligated to hold onto things that belonged to your lost loved one or that remind you of them. But that doesn’t mean shedding sentimental items entirely or tossing out things that may be valuable to others.
For instance, if your loved one was a costume jewelry connoisseur, consider deconstructing some pieces to give them a second life atop a unique and meaningful mosaic table. And, if you don’t know the first thing about trimming and training bonsai trees, give your loved one’s miniature forest to a close friend or family member with a green thumb and an interest in Asian culture. Or donate his or her extensive collection of first-edition books to the local library or your loved one’s favorite charity and encourage the organization’s staff to auction off the items to support their programs and services.
Making a Move
Reinvention and renewal may also include moving to a new house, condo, or apartment, especially if you and your lost loved one shared a home. Your reasons may be practical -- perhaps your current home is too large to maintain on your own. Indeed, financial necessity, health concerns, or other factors may mean you have no choice but to move. Or you may simply want to start fresh somewhere other than your shared space.
No matter what your reasons for moving, it’s important to ensure you’re getting the most out of selling your home if you owned it. You should also be careful to select a spot that suits your needs now. So you may want to hire a real estate agent, home stager, or professional organizer, to help you present your current home in its best light, price it properly, and start fresh in a new home. The average price to hire a professional organizer in Orlando ranges from $287 - $733.
Likewise, once you set a moving date, you might want to hire help packing, loading, and unloading your possessions so you can focus your time and efforts on purging possessions you no longer need and organizing everything else to make moving as seamless as possible.
No matter how you decide to approach life after the loss of a loved one, it’s important to remember to be kind to yourself and make moves -- literally and figuratively -- that will help you create a happy, healthy future for yourself.