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Guest Post: Moving Away From Grief: Starting Fresh in a New City After Losing a Loved One

(The following is a guest post by Camille Johnson of

Losing a loved one is one of the most traumatizing events in life. Sometimes, the best cure is to get out of town and start fresh. New surroundings and people can do wonders in helping you work through your grief. By using the right home buying techniques, deciding which of your loved one’s items to keep, settling in, and seeking therapy, you can feel yourself progress through the grieving process.

Taking Over the Mortgage and Selling the House

If your loved one didn’t live with you but left their house to you, Trust and Will explains that you’ll be responsible for taking over their mortgage payments. Paying two mortgages can be a major financial burden, so you’ll want to put the house on the market ASAP. Contact a real estate agent and have the home appraised. You may also want to do an early home inspection, especially if it’s an older home. That way, you know exactly what needs to be done to get the house ready for the market.

Home Buying

When finding a new home, you’ll want to cover the basics first. Check out online listings, scope out the neighborhood, and visit open houses when possible. If you live far away, see if a loved one or real estate agent can take you on a tour over video so you can ask questions as you have them. For instance, if the backyard has a deck, the listing might not discuss how old it is. During a video tour, you can ask what condition it’s in right in the moment. Consider searching for a house that looks nothing like the one(s) you’re leaving behind. Branch out and try something new.

Deciding Which Items to Keep

Going through your loved one’s things may be the hardest task of all. What do you keep and what do you donate? What can realistically move with you to your new home? It’s vital that you don’t overpack things to keep, but you also don’t want to get rid of anything that’s truly meaningful to you. According to Everlasting Memories, the first step is acceptance. Your devastation is normal and to be expected, and going through your loved one’s items may seem a daunting task, but you must do it. It might help to imagine your loved one in Heaven above watching over you and helping you decide what’s most important.

Settling Into Your New Home

Once you’ve moved into your new home, it’s time to start unpacking and arranging everything. There are many ways to honor your loved one in the new place. You can plant a memorial tree or garden, make a memory jar, or create a memorial shadow box for display. In the first days of the move, share your favorite stories about your loved one as you unpack. Talk to them, even. Remember, they can hear you loud and clear from Heaven and miss you the same as you miss them. There are even specific prayers you can say. Channel that love into the house and into finding the perfect spots for your loved one’s items to be displayed.

Seek Therapy

We all need a little extra help sometimes. Grief can be completely overwhelming, and while you can confide in loved ones, it can’t replace the help of a professional. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to find mental health resources — just go online. Virtual therapy saves time and travel, and many groups offer free consultations to help you find the right professional for you. You may want someone who incorporates prayer and holy healing, so be sure to mention this during your consultation. It’s as private as in-person therapy and you’ll pay less for services.

There’s no cure-all for grief, but changing your surroundings is a great first step to a fresh start. Selling the house, deciding which items to keep, settling in, and seeking therapy will all play a major role in your recovery. Give yourself time and room to continue grieving, but know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Photo via Pexels


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