Frequently, when a loved one passes away or becomes ill, the family is forced to sell the family home. Not a short process, family members spend quite a bit of time cleaning out the home. (Related article: A Lifetime of Memories: Tips for Cleaning out a Home after Death)
The Emotional Attachment of a Home
It may have been their childhood home, it may have been the childhood home of the elderly or ill loved one, and it may have even been the childhood home spanning many generations. No matter how long the home has been in the family, finding hidden treasures of childhood; family heirlooms, pencil notches on the wall marking the heights of the children and grandchildren, old technology that kept the front room in a time warp, a basement filled with remnants of the past; can be emotional.
Because of the emotional attachment a home can carry, leaving it can be very sad and emotional regardless of the reason. And grieving the loss of that home is normal- especially if it’s one you spent a large part of your life in.
Provide Yourself Meaningful Closure
If you are finding yourself grieving the loss of the family home, there are ways to provide yourself a meaningful closure. Here are some suggestions for saying goodbye to a home and grieving places of the past.
- Visit one last time: If the home you are selling is not your primary residence, find an opportunity to visit it one last time and reflect on the laughter, fun, insight, love, comfort & great memories.
- Collect photos and scrapbook: Collect photos (or take some before it is sold) and create a few scrapbook pages. This is an excellent activity to do with kids. These photos will you remember the significance of the home.
- Say a proper goodbye: Say goodbye to the home and mentally release the home to the new owners and wish for them all the good times & great memories you had.
- Spend quality time in the home: Spend purposeful and meaningful time in the home, taking time in each room to let the memories flood in. Place your hands on the walls, doors, windows, or special areas for as long as feels right.
- Have a Family Photo Shoot: Hire a photographer and have one last family photo shoot.
- Leave a small memento on the property: Carve your initials in a tree, write a message in a door jam, make handprints in cement, or bury a time capsule in the backyard.
- Reminisce: Share with family, or someone who knows the house as well as you do, favorite memories of times you had in the home. If no one knows the home like you, talk about the memories with and those who don’t know the home (maybe your kids or friends).
Selling the family home is hard. Signing the final closing can give a sense of relief that the process is over, but it won’t stop the heart from grieving. Just know that no matter how far you may be from the home or how long it has been, there will always be a part of your heart there.
About Senior Living Service Group
Senior Living Service Group is a team of Eastern, MA elder care experts who have witnessed time and time again the painful process of referring a client and or their family to multiple professionals in order to access the resources needed to manage a move or sale of a home they love.
Given the sometimes delicate nature of what we do, compassion is at the heart of everything we do. We understand the roller coaster of emotions that a family is likely to experience, as well as the urgency with which, at times, you must act.
Our highly skilled and experienced team blends the art of caring with the science of their expertise in their individual fields.
Some of the services we provide include:
- Real Estate Buying and Selling
- Clean-Outs/ Professional Organizing
- Packing and Moving
- Antique Appraisals
- Estate Sales
- Family Mediation
- Legal Services
- Financial Services