A Change of Scenery: The Benefits of Relocation After the Loss of a Loved One

For some people, moving after the death of a loved one is inconceivable. Others can’t imagine remaining in the same home they shared with a spouse, parent, or child for so many years. In some cases, bereaved individuals are too emotionally overwrought to decide until they begin going through their loved one’s belongings. Those who choose to relocate benefit from a change of scenery and a fresh start, a healthy and revitalizing outcome of an agonizingly painful process. Adjusting to any living environment without the comforting presence of a loved one is always hard. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go through it all amid new surroundings that don’t bring painful memories to mind so readily. Psychologists advise allowing yourself the space and time to grieve. With that in mind, relocating can be just what the doctor ordered.

Moving on

Bereaved people are often inclined to be preoccupied with grief instead of seeking to cope with it and move on with life. Remaining in the same house can make it easy to wall yourself off from the world. After the loss of a loved one, it’s important to express your feelings and seek the support of those close to you rather than retreating inward. Sometimes, it’s easier to do this amid new surroundings. Coming to terms with grief is a process that can take years; moving to new environs may facilitate this process and help you grow mentally and emotionally.

Staying busy

Grief counselors advise that bereaved people need time to accept and process their grief. When you’re ready to move on, staying busy can help you fill your time in productive ways and reinvigorate your sense of purpose. Settling into a new home can keep you busy in many ways. It’s an opportunity to redecorate, to reorder your life, and to infuse a new home with your personality and your identity. It’s important to remember that the process of moving, all the packing, unpacking, arranging, and organizing, shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for the healing work of grieving. Bear in mind that trying to sublimate grief in such a way is unproductive and unhealthy.


An often-overlooked benefit of moving is the opportunity it presents for downsizing. Downsizing allows you to unload possessions you no longer have need for. It frees up space, declutters your life, and makes for less upkeep (which usually means less expense). These are all important points to consider, since moving after the loss of a loved one means you’re probably moving into a smaller house or apartment. That means donating, giving away, or throwing away your belongings is a necessity. Try organizing those items you plan to take with you according to where they’ll go in your new home. Consider asking someone you love and trust to help you with this difficult and emotionally charged work.

Move managers

If you’re an older adult, getting a home ready to stage and sell can be an overwhelming and exhausting job. There are upgrades to be made in key rooms like the kitchen and bathrooms and to the exterior in order to create curb appeal. Organizing a move once your home has sold is another matter. As a bereaved person, you’ve already gone through a chaotic and emotionally draining experience. As a senior, you should let someone else take the lead. Senior move managers are expert at helping older adults downsize, pack, and carry out the many details that go with moving.

Taking care of yourself should always be your first concern after suffering a profound personal loss. When you’re ready to move on, relocating for a change of scenery can be beneficial in many ways. It gives you a renewed sense of purpose and direction and may lead you to new and enriching experiences and relationships.

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