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Don't take your grief with you

Updated: Feb 1, 2022

Life changes as we go through separation and we can struggle to accept that our life is morphing into a new future. We can resist it by thinking the new life is not going to be as good as the old life feeling the heavy weight of loss and grief. To resist, is like trying to push the waves of the ocean back out so they don’t crash to shore. It is impossible and consumes our energy trying. We need to let the ocean flow, carrying us to our new destination. To thrash against the tide of life will weaken our resolve making us feel broken and exhausted.

You may find yourself having to move house as the family home has been sold or rental property being re-leased. Every new property that you can afford seems inadequate compared to your home and you resist wanting to leave even though deep down you know you can’t afford to stay. Eventually you find a new place that will do and resign yourself to the fact it will be where you have to live as oppose to where you want to live.

Packing all your belongings into boxes as the move date creeps closer, the feelings of panic and fear bubble up of your old life disappearing before your very eyes. As the place shrinks of furniture and trinkets, packed away, it feels like an empty shell of what use to be home. This empty shell echoes the emptiness you feel inside which amplifies the feelings of loss as you move closer to leaving your old life behind. You cling onto hope of a phone call or screeching tyres of your ex-shouting ‘stop, lets try to make it work…….” but the silence is deafening.

The removal truck arrives and your heart skips a beat. This is it, today is the day to say goodbye to your old life for good.

The transported boxes contain your old life which clutter the small unit dwelling which is now your new home. As you unpack each box, memories spill out torturing you as you slump over the boxes sobbing at what life has become. You stop. You realise your grief has followed you to your new destination, like a dark eery shadow lurking over your shoulder.

In order to let go of your old life and heal, you need to accept your old life has gone. Change the way you look at life. Every negative thought needs to be switched to a positive to help you have hope for rebuilding a happy future.

Thought 1 – “This new place is so small; I wish I was back at my family home”

All this does is fuel your grief.

Look at the positives the new home provides;

· An opportunity to sort through your belongings and give away, sell or dispose of things that

trigger old memories

· It is a smaller place so there is less to clean

· Being a unit provides greater security from any intruders

· Provides a fresh start, unshackling you from your past

· You can decorate it how you want without your taste of décor being questioned

· You can have whoever you like come over, at any time you want. No agreement needed.

Thought 2 - “I don’t have my lovely garden anymore”

Look at the positives of not having a garden;

· I no longer have to pay someone to mow the lawns, so I save money

· No more weeds that are back breaking to remove

· I can join a community garden to have a small plot to grow my favourite flowers or


· I can join a hiking group that go bush walking in nature as well as make new friends

· I can walk to the local park and feed the birds

Thought 3 – “The children don’t have much space to play”

Look at what you can do to create some fun;

· Throw a sheet over the dining table so they can crawl underneath and imagine they are


· Do some art/craft creating some pictures that can be framed and put on the wall.

· Take them for a picnic at the local park

· Bake cupcakes together

· Play board games together

Whenever you think a negative thought, feel disappointed or sad try to find a positive thought to switch to so you can maintain a healthy mindset and create a happy life.

Author - Cheryl Duffy

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