Tips for Moving on from the Loss of a Loved One
Losing a loved one is an upsetting and difficult experience. While everyone deals with grief differently, in time you will be ready to start living your own life once again. Many people find that the best way to do this is to make a fresh start in a new place. The Senior Coalition offers the following tips for moving on from your loss.
A Fresh Location
Downsizing to a new home offers you the opportunity to make a fresh start. Simplifying your life in this way gives you a fresh perspective, allowing you to focus on your future. Relocating can also help you positively embrace your “new normal.” According to Richard Dama, MA, LPC, “accepting and embracing your new ‘normal’ might help you reconcile your losses.”
How to Downsize
The key to successfully downsizing is to identify your own needs. One of the key parts of positively moving forward is taking care of your complete self. This means your mental and emotional well being as well as your physical health. For example, while your old, large home was great when you were with your loved one, now that you are alone, you may find yourself isolated or struggling to maintain the property. Therefore, selling your home and downsizing may be the right choice for you.
Before you start looking for your new home, work out what you can afford by taking annual income and monthly expenses into account. Getting an affordable rate on your mortgage will be important, so keep in mind you may need to do some credit repair work before applying for a loan. If time is of the essence, there are other ways to qualify for a lower home interest loan rate. Paying for points on your mortgage, for example, requires you to pay a fee to your loan provider when you close on your home in exchange for a reduced payment. If this is an option you’re considering, use a calculator to show you what your possible monthly savings may be.
You should also take the time to find realtors that you are comfortable with, but don’t just go with the first person that you meet. Instead, talk to a few, taking the time to find someone that you feel comfortable with. It is also never too early to contact your realtor. Establishing a good relationship with your realtor, where your goals are clearly outlined, will only benefit you. Due to the pandemic, you may want to look into alternatives to viewing properties personally. Check with your realtor to see if they offer live virtual tours; some realtors offer 3D walkthroughs which will allow you to view a home from many different angles.
Downsizing Doesn’t Mean Forgetting
For many people deciding what to do with your loved one’s belongings is a difficult task. Don’t rush into the “go through” process; you may make decisions that you later regret. Many experts agree that you should wait six months before making any big decisions. Only you will know when the time is right for you.
As you sort through your loved one’s belongings, consider giving items to charity or to close friends and family. They may be glad to have something to remember your loved one by. However much, or little, you go through, remember the most important things are the memories that you shared together. You can’t give these away, and they will stay with you forever, wherever you choose to continue your life.
Decluttering is also an opportunity for you to set aside treasured items for friends and family to have after you pass. When the time comes your family and friends will find it comforting that you thought of them. It will also ease some of the stress that comes with the loss of a dearly loved one.
Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional process. Allow yourself the space to grieve, practice plenty of self-care, and in time, you will be ready to move on and start living your life again. Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting your loved one; instead, it is simply the opportunity to create new memories to sit alongside your old ones.
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