Why Moving Is A Grieving Experience…
“Where’s my kitchen room?” cried my little girl the other day when she woke up to a house that had been almost completely packed up.
“Your kitchen room is safe in storage, and you will get it back when we move into our new place. I know it is confusing baby, and I am sorry we are moving,” I explained with tears in my eyes.
Explaining why we are moving AGAIN to a 2 year old is really hard. It doesn’t matter that she is flexible, adaptable, or has done it before… or that we have a big adventure ahead. She is just sad that her bed, her kitchen and her projects are gone – stability.
While I consider myself a free spirit, and moving typically feels like an adventure, as life gets more complicated (having a baby, a business, etc.) it feels harder to move, even houses.
Without going into too many details, we had to box up our stuff and move out of our rental for the summer. While we are making the most of it and going on vacation, my husband, daughter, and I felt the emotional and physical exhaustion as we moved and prepared for our trip.
In this moment, I want to share with you (and remind myself) why moving is a grieving experience. While moving can be exciting and wonderful, it can also be sad and daunting.
As you may know by now “the conflicting feelings that come at the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior” is how we define grief at the Grief Recovery Institute.
Since moving causes a disruption in your routine, a change in your regular pattern of behavior, and is commonly accompanied by a wide range of emotions, it is more often than not a grieving experience.
When you move, whether it is to a new house or across the country, it is a big transition.
During the transition you may experience some of the common symptoms of grief that include:
Inability to focus
Running into things
Feeling like you can’t keep things straight
If you have been feeling stressed because of a move or other recent upheaval in your life, be kind to yourself.
Understand that this is one of the biggest transitions of life, and even if it was your decision to move, you can still have mixed emotions about it. Just acknowledging moving as a grieving experience can help normalize all of the different feelings you may be having.
And if you have little ones, try to be patient and give them the benefit of the doubt that this is hard on them too (no matter the age). Make sure you validate any feelings they may be having. Know that it is okay to feel sad when you leave and excited when you get somewhere new… and everything in between.
Be kind to yourself, feel your feelings, and know that whatever you are feeling is normal.
If you are struggling with a move, please download my free 7 Days to Thriving eBook here.