Bereaving and Leaving: Moving After a Loved One’s Death
Waking up in an empty room is one of the hardest parts about losing a spouse. Likewise, the sound of silence in a home where a child’s laugh once filled the walls is an almost unbearable pain. While there is nothing that will ever fill the void in your heart or home, life must go on. Sometimes, this means making even further changes to the way you live.
Downsizing – it’s your decision
When your deceased loved one was your family’s primary source of income, you may have no choice but to relocate to a more affordable and manageable living situation. However, Grief and Sympathy, a UK-based website designed to help the bereaved cope with loss, cautions against being influenced by family and friends.
When it becomes clear that a move is in your future, try not to rush yourself. There will be many practical things that must be taken care of now in order to avoid more pain and grief down the road. For starters, it’s imperative that you research homes within your price range. In the Bonita Springs area, homes sell for approximately $300,000. There are many different types of homes available both above and below this price range. And there are even more non-price-related factors to consider before choosing a new residence. These include:
- Location – If you have children you will need to consider school zone and availability of parks, playgrounds and pediatric care. Policy Genius offers more great advice on moving with children.
- Layout – How much space you need and can maintain will play a huge part in the type of home you choose. Smaller homes and condominiums often have less available outdoor space and may not be designed for entertaining. However, smaller homes are easier to keep clean and cost less to upkeep.
- Amenities – As a single or single-parent, you may need to consider a home with security features such as a privacy fence or floodlights. Depending on your age and physical abilities, you may also seek out a new home with one story and a ground-level entryway.
The process of relocating is symbolic of saying goodbye to the loved one lost. It does not mean that you will forget them or the home you shared only that you are ready to live your own life in your new circumstances. Before you list your current home on the market, take the time to go through your/their personal belongings and decide what to keep and what items don’t contribute to your present-day happiness. One way to cope that also helps you tackle practical matters is by donating your loved one’s belongings to an organization that will help carry on their memory. For example, if your spouse received hospice services, you may consider hosting a yard sale and donating proceeds to the Hospice Foundation of America.
General home buying/moving tips
- Understand your mortgage options and have money aside for a down payment and closing costs
- Find a skilled agent to help in your home search
- Research crime statistics your chosen area
- Stick to your budget and focus on homes at the low end of your approval amount
- By your home with future needs in mind
- Invest in a home inspection
- Discuss reasons for your move with children
Change is hard but fresh scenery gives you a new landscape upon which to build the rest of your life. Moving a difficult and emotional process. However, when the memories are too painful or you are unable to afford your current home, it’s an opportunity to hit the reset button on your life.
Lucille Rosetti, our featured contributor