Should I move from my home?

i am considering selling my home and moving to a different town. We raised our children here and it holds many good memories. But my husband died at home and now my home has so many memories of his last months, his suffering, his final weeks ,days and hours. I can barely walk into the room where he passed. I feel like I need a fresh start. I have no family here, my closest friends have moved away. I am retired. So there is very little holding me here. It has been 17 months since my dear ones death and it seems so many things are worse not better. I am so torn and really don’t know what to do. I’m wondering if any of you have sold your homes and moved. Is it a decision you are happy with? Do you regret it? I am going round and round. I know I am probably focusing on this because I am so consumed with grief and this is something tangible I can deal with. Am I wrong to think that if I move away from these memories it will help in my grief journey? I know this is something that only I can ultimately decide, but I am having such a hard time making a decision, I am hoping hearing about others experiences might help.

Dear @jane2
I am so sorry you have lost your dear husband. As you say, your home holds many good memories, it would be sad if you moved and lost that connection, even though you carry those memories close to your heart.
I lost my husband to covid in January this year & am left here alone with a large house, huge garden & garages. Even when it was both of us, we used to say we rattled about in this big house but we both worked really hard to get it & loved it so much, with no thoughts of ever moving.
When I mentioned moving, the advice I got was don’t do anything in the first year of your loss as your brain may be mush. Mines certainly is, so was good advice for me.
I know you are now 17 months since your loss, but if it sounds as if you have doubts if this is right thing to do.


Dear Maigret,
Thank you for your reply. I’m of two minds, so making this decision is very hard. I too have heard to wait at least a year, but I am no less foggy brained 17 months on. I guess this means that it is not the time to make any decisions and when it is time, the answer will be clear. Or clearer in any case. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved husband. Sending you good thoughts and best wishes.

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Jane2. That’s a very, very hard thing to decide. For me I couldn’t leave this house as like most have so many memories here. It’s been 4 years but still wouldn’t move. It would have to be something major to get me to move. Some of June’s friends suggested it just after she died but that was never happening. Now I’m as happy as I’m going to be in our house. I also have a couple of great neighbours that I know I can “lean” on if needed. It is like so many other things you just need to take time and really think it through. Anyway at 63 I’m too old to be moving and all the hassle, but that again is just me. It must be difficult to decide. Maybe once you are ready you could sit down (even with somebody who would be objective) and wayup the pro’s and con’s and see if that makes it clearer, though I’d give a few days after that just to make sure it’s been the right decision .

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Thank you for your reply Ken1. I appreciate the support. You are right it is a very, very hard thing to decide. And right now there is no clear cut answer. The one person who would help make a big choice like this, who was my rock and love and best friend, the one I could lean on most, is no longer here.
I am so sorry for your loss and for being in this place that none of us would like to be. Please take good care. Sending you good thoughts and best wishes.

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Jane2. Thanks. It is horrendous making big decisions especialy if you are so used to talking it through with your loved one. This is probably why I won’t move, as well as all the shared memories in the house, I’d really regret it if I did move and then thought “no that was the wrong thing to do”. There again we are all different and for some living in the house by youself makes them want to move as it’s too painfull. Although I miss June so much I kind of feel part of her is still here, know that would be lost if I moved somewhere else but that is just me. Everybody needs to weigh it up for what they think. Think people are right to say leave it a year as the pain is far to raw too make sensible judgements. I must say coming on this forum has helped. Wasn’t one for seeing a councilor also had our dog and stepson (even though he’s in his 40’s) to look after. I do feel a bit “calmer” ( not really the right word) coming on here as we are all in the same boat and can understand the pain, although friends are supportive they don’t really understand what has happened in our life. Though I do have a friend who also lost his wife so it was easier to talk to him as he knew exactly where I was coming from. Take care and rember we’re all here to supprt each other.

Dear @jane2
Since you posted your dilemma I’ve come to realise that, for me, every part of every room in our home & garden & garage just holds so many reminders and memories of my husband. I can never leave here, it would be like losing him all over again.
He loved our home, we loved our home. I’m very fortunate I can continue to live here, & so thankful too especially since reading some of the issues faced by bereaved on this forum.


That’s so true. Never thought about it that way of feeling like you’d lost the person twice.

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Unlike you, I have no special memories in this house. We rented it a few years ago as a stopgap while we waited for the apartment we wanted to be available. Unfortunately, that fell through, so as nothing suitable was available, and this house came on the market, we decided to buy it and see what happened. Then my husband confessed he didn’t really want to go to an apartment and lose the garden, so we stayed here.
Now that it won’t affect Tony, bless him, I have decided to follow my dream and hopefully will be moving to an apartment like the one we lost in the next few weeks. I am glad I didn’t persuade Tony to move before - I could have done, but didn’t want to do that to him.
He will always be with me, in my heart, wherever I am, so the location is of no importance.
I think it is important that we continue to have some sort of a good life after losing our husband/wife. They would want that for us and although I shall never be truly happy again, it would be lovely to look out over the harbour and think of him. That would be the nearest thing to happiness I can expect.

Dear AnnR,
Thank you for your reply. Your post really resonated with me. Although I understand those who have a strong attachment to their house, I feel as you do that my dear husband “will always be with me, in my heart, wherever I am.” For me, right now, the good memories in my present house are being outweighed by the very sad memories of my husband’s illness and death. We too also talked of moving from here because it was never our dream home. And now without him in it, it seems like just a house and not a home. Your new place by the sea sounds lovely and I wish you peace and contentment there.
Best wishes, Jane2

Dear Sheila,

“Let your heart lead you”—that’s such good advice. Thank you. I hope I will recognize the right thing to do when the time comes. It is no surprise that I am struggling with such a big decision. There are days even deciding what to have for dinner is really hard. I am not rushing to do anything major at this moment. I don’t really have the energy yet. I am still recovering my strength from the trauma of my husband’s illness and death. And I forgot the cardinal rule of this grief journey—take one day at a time. When I try to think too far into the future I set myself up for major panic and overwhelm.
Right now I am going to stop thinking too much about it and just go back to taking one day at a time. I’m hoping that the solution will become clear to me eventually.
I think your idea of renting an apartment by the sea for part of the year is a great one. Especially picking different locations each year. Do you think you would do it?

Yes, I too miss my husband’s arms around me and his wisdom and support. And his funny jokes and his laugh and the way he could make things better just because. That is really the core of it and nothing can fix that.

I am so grateful for this forum and for all the wonderful people on it.

Wishing you the best,
Love, Jane2

I’ve found it hard to find reliable people for jobs around the house. Sometimes they don’t even answer their phones or keep their appointments! I hope you are having better luck at this.
I so understand feeling 21 inside. I feel it too. I can’t believe where all the years have gone and how seemingly fast. Wasn’t it just a few years ago that we were young with all the promise ahead of us. I never even considered my husband would be the first to go. I was sure it would be me. My parents died relatively young and his family was filled with people in their nineties.

Oh Sheila, your post conjures up such a wonderful picture of love. Beautiful memories. I was just a little girl in the sixties but I have older brothers and I can remember how smart young men dressed back then. My own husband nearly always wore a tie. He could still make me swoon…:wink:

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I am like you, lost my husband over a year ago, in our home. Now, i do not have a clue if having such a negative tragedy, loosing Simon at home, made it harder, i would be interested to know how many find their home a comfort, but did not loose their loved one at home. It may have some baring.
I find the trigger, of the house, not a comfort, almost like torture. I fight the urge all the time of moving, but try and take heed of what every one says, and that is give yourself time.
My fear i suppose is finding i feel the same in a strange new home. And i would have jumped the guns.
Let me know what you decide, i am still dithering.
Also the loneliness is very destroying, but thats because of the obvious. And that won’t change if i move. I have good family and friends, its a different kind of loneliness, its for my husband.
Good luck.

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I lost my wife 4 years ago. She passed away in hospital though she had been back here a few times after her diagnosis was made. It was only our 2nd house together and there are a lot of good memories in the house, so for me personally I couldn’t sell the house but can understand why people whose partner died at home would maybe want to sell. As I’ve seen from a few people, wait at least a year so it’s not a rash decision you might regret.

Dear Jane2
Thank you for your good wishes. Moving without him will be hard, but not as hard as staying here. I feel that it will be good for me in so many ways. I shall be able to walk to the shops instead of having to drive, for one thing, and it is on all my family’s way home from work and they can pop in more easily, One of my daughters has decided that on her way home from her late shift some evenings, she is going to pop in and have a coffee and watch the harbour at night. The lights are lovely then, especially if there is a cruise ship here, which there often is.
In the light of what you said, I think perhaps you should give moving some thought. To me, it sounds just what you need. Find somewhere you can see people passing, preferably with a nice view, like I am doing. The last thing you want is a country lane! If it doesn’t matter where you go, find somewhere you can safely walk and where you are not stranded if it snows.
With love,
Ann x

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What lovely memories, Sheila. You paint such vivid pictures.

I think to our loved ones we were always young, no matter how old we got. I didn’t see my husband as old and he felt the same about me. We only saw each other as we were when we first met. Now I feel so old because I am no longer reflected in my loving husband’s eyes. Hold tight to your wonderful memories.

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Dear Elvispresley69,

I so relate to what you have written. My husband wanted to remain at home and I honored his wishes, but it was very traumatic at the end–raw and ugly. Not how death is portrayed in the movies. I find it very hard to enter the room where my husband died and the bad memories of my husband’s illness still hang over the house. I understand your indecision about moving–it’s why I posted in the first place --because I needed to hear others experiences. For now I have decided to just stop thinking about it so hard because I was just going round and round and making myself more miserable. I am hoping with time, the answer will become clearer. Also, Covid has complicated the situation. You are wise and I think it is wise not to make any hasty moves. For now, I am decluttering, trying to fix up the house as if I were going to move and if I decide not to sell, well I then have a clean, uncluttered house that’s in better shape. It is also a focus for now and a distraction from the pain. It sounds like you have a strong support network where you are and that is an important consideration. I do not really, There is not alot to tether me to this town. My adult children live far away, my closest friends have moved away and like many on this forum I have found that acquaintances and even some friends have fallen away and disappeared. So looking around, I think, what is holding me here. My husband is no longer here, but he is deep in my heart. I share your pain at the loss of our loved ones. I can hear the sorrow in your post and send you hugs and best wishes. I will definitely let you know if and when I come to a decision. I hope you can find the right choice for yourself as well. Please let me know as well what you decide. Hugs, Jane2

Dear AnnR,
Your new location sounds so good! And having your daughter and other family pop in more often sounds perfect. I agree that a change can be good in so many ways. It is invigorating and stimulating in ways that can be so beneficial. I am happy for you that you made the decision and taken the brave leap. I am definitely leaning in that direction as well. There is so little keeping me in this town–my adult children live far away, good friends have moved away, and many acquaintances and others have “disappeared” after an initial flurry of concern. I get it. Life marches on for everyone. So ultimately we are left to find our own way and our own answers and what works best for us.
Thank you so much for your good advice and support. I think exploring new places can be enjoyable and I know it will eventually become clearer what my best choice is.
Hugs and all the best in your new situation,
with love, Jane2

Thank you Jane2. I wish you all the best too. I would love to know what you decide and how it goes. Hope you find your happy place sooner rather than later.
Hugs, Ann