moving home after bereavement

Moving home after bereavement

Moving house after the death of a close family member is a huge decision and not one to be rushed into if it can be avoided. In the months after bereavement, the additional stress and strain of a house move can be too much to handle for most people.

Take your time

You need to adjust to life without your loved one and it is important to make clear and rational decisions. It is wise to leave making life-changing decisions for 6-12 months at least. Don’t let anyone rush you into a decision you aren’t ready to make.

Some people feel that moving house after bereavement will eliminate memories and help reduce the pain of grief. However, emotions tend to follow you wherever you go. A new set of walls can offer you a fresh start and new perspective, it won’t necessarily resolve the feelings associated with bereavement. If you really can’t stand to live in your current home, look at temporary alternatives such as staying with friends, renting or travelling for a while.

Financial constraints

If your financial circumstances are difficult and a house move will be unavoidable, then go to your bank or mortgage provider first. Explain the situation and ask if they are willing to give you some leeway until you have the emotional and financial resources to make a clear decision. Explain to friends and family what the situation is, especially if you have to move and don’t want to. They may be able to help in ways you may never have considered.


If you choose to move, then think carefully. Do you want to move away from friends and family? What are your reasons for moving away? If possible, talk it through with someone who has your best interests at heart.

If you want to move to a new area, then spend time visiting and doing research. It is always possible to rent for a short period and then buy if you like the area. Really get to know a place before you commit.


Usually, when it comes to packing, we usually say to get rid of anything you’ve not used in the last year. However, moving soon after a bereavement, we say the opposite.

Avoid being ruthless when it comes to packing the things of a lost loved one. In the surroundings of a new home, their things will provide you with comfort. Keep the things that you’re indecisive about. You can make a more informed decision later.

Some possessions may have some negative connotations, so you may feel getting rid of them is a better decision. However, after a bereavement, it may be better to avoid dealing with these possessions until you feel more able to, or at least have someone else to help you make these decisions. It will help you with the more difficult decisions and will make your close friends and family feel better about being able to help you somewhat during this difficult time.