Dealing with the Grief Process while Moving

“Grief reorders your address book.” A friend of mine used that phrase when talking about the support (or lack thereof) he received after the death of his son. People he expected to step up to help him and his family went silent or disappeared; conversely, people he didn’t know well stepped forward and provided meals and a listening ear. It was an illuminating insight into the world surrounding grief.

At The Move Makers, we specialize in senior move management, and we’ve witnessed firsthand how grief can reorder and reshape lives. Our role extends beyond logistics; we offer a shoulder to lean on and a compassionate ear to listen.

Susan’s Journey: Embracing Memories and New Beginnings:
Susan’s story is one of courage amid sorrow. Poised for retirement and relocation, her world was upended by her husband’s sudden death. Initially paralyzed by grief, it was the unwavering support of her sister that reignited Susan’s resolve. Together with The Move Makers, they embarked on a delicate task—sifting through a lifetime of shared memories. Susan chose to honor her husband’s legacy by preserving his treasured book collection, a testament to their shared love of literature.

Theresa’s Tribute: Honoring Artistic Legacy:
Theresa, a widow in her nineties, had choices to make after selling her home of forty years and relocating to be closer to extended family. Her late husband, an artist who painted intricate scenes on gourds, left behind a unique legacy. With a heart open to sharing this beauty, Theresa partnered with The Move Makers to make decisions about which pieces to keep and which to find new homes for. She also had a large children’s book collection, and The Move Makers put her in touch with a charter school which was expanding its library and gratefully received her donation.

Carolyn: The Gift of Downsizing:
Carolyn, Founder of The Move Makers, lost both parents during the past 3 years, her mom in 2021 and her dad in 2023. They had moved into a cottage behind Carolyn’s home several years ago, after spending 20 happy years traveling in their RV. “We had already done the major downsizing work when they sold their ranch in California and hit the road”, Carolyn recounts. “Actually, helping them with the downsizing process and then observing how much they enjoyed life after the hard work of letting things go was what inspired me to become a professional organizer and eventually led to opening The Move Makers in 2013. When Mom and Dad decided to stop traveling and moved into my backyard cottage, their intent was to help me. That’s the way our family rolls. Gradually, this turned into me helping them. As anyone who has lost a parent knows, it is a very hard thing to let go of your parents, but I am so grateful that I was able to show up for them, the way they always showed up for me. The fact that we had already done the downsizing work together made the transition easier and, although it was by no means easy at the time, it was a huge gift.”

Guiding You Through the Move:

  • Embrace the Grieving Process: Grief is not linear; it ebbs and flows. Allow yourself grace during these turbulent times.
  • Reach Out: It’s okay to seek support. Friends, family, and community resources can provide comfort and assistance.
  • Pause Before Decisions: Grief can cloud our choices. Give yourself time to process your emotions fully before making significant changes.
  • Consult the Experts: Moving involves many decisions. Engage with professionals who can offer tailored advice for your situation.
  • Choose Compassionate Partners: Everyone’s grief journey is unique. Collaborate with those who understand and respect your pace.

At The Move Makers, we’re your partners in navigating one of life’s most challenging transitions. Our team is equipped with the empathy and expertise to guide you through the twin challenges of moving home during the grief process. You can trust us to be there for you, every step of the way.

Michael Portrait

Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is an organizer for The Move Makers and a writer and blogger. He was educated in an English boarding school (no, not Hogwarts!) and has lived in eight countries. He’s been paid money for the following: teaching ESL, carrying suitcases as a hotel porter, cleaning carpets, being the refined English telephone voice behind a friend’s attempt to be a literary agent, editing a Japanese dictionary, being an in-home caregiver, and singing at weddings.