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How does one cope after the loss of a loved one? Among a host of other human emotions, mourning, and grief are a part of the healing process. These are distinctly different feelings, according to Psychology Today, which writes, “loss is really about how we experience the absence of those we love and how we process the emptiness we feel without them.” They define mourning as the act of sorrowing. That is to say when someone is mourning they are in process of pining for their lost loved one, unable to move forward, and remain attached to the past. Grieving, on the other hand, means to mourn. It is the heavy realization about your life going forward without the other person by your side.

While each of us will experience loss in a uniquely human way, at some point we hope to find acceptance. While we will never “get over” or be “okay” that our loved one is gone, we aim to accept our new reality.

Moving for a Change

If you lost your partner whom you shared a life and home with, moving away may feel like the only answer. Moving on doesn’t always mean moving away, but it may for you. There may have been too many memories in your shared home for you to feel like you can move forward. If you’re looking to sell, here are a few things to consider. The first point is to “disassociate yourself with your home.” If you’re able to make the emotional break from your home and see it as a product, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to put it on the market. Before showing your home, you’ll need to declutter and give it a deep cleaning. You’ll also need to raise your home’s curb appeal, so make sure your lawn is in pristine shape. You can also hire a power-washing service so that the exterior of your home is spotless. In nearby Minneapolis, homeowners pay an average of $309 for power washing

As you’re thinking about your new life in a new place, without your loved one, you may consider places you’d previously never considered. What about a smaller town, where the pace of life is a little more relaxed? You’ll also need to consider home prices in the area you’d like to move to. Homes in St. Louis Park have a median listing price of $318K. Before looking at homes, consider your mortgage options. Many home buyers prefer a conventional mortgage because they can avoid having to pay for mortgage insurance with 20 percent down. 

What About Downsizing?

If you’re thinking about downsizing, and staying a little closer to home, you might get started by researching homes in your area that are within your price range. If your mortgage, insurance, and property tax exceed 30 percent of your take-home pay, downsizing may allow you to maintain a larger home on your own. Once you’ve settled on an area, it’s time to deal with the tough stuff, such as deciding which of your departed loved one’s items to keep or discard. Consider these four Ps: people, prioritize, plan, and pace yourself. Are there friends and family members that can participate in the process with you? If there are people who can’t be present, are there items that might be special to them? Maybe put these items in a special place to circle back around to later. Planning is key and pacing yourself is paramount. Clearing out your home of your partner’s belongings can, and may assuredly, be overwhelming. This is a part of the process.

Moving for a change of scenery and fresh start after the loss of a loved one may be beneficial to you and those who are left behind. Weigh your options, and remember to take your time. The healing process looks different for everyone and ultimately only you will know what is best for you.

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