After nine years in the same home, I just moved. Beyond the physical pain of moving, I was surprised by some of the feelings that I had come up because of the move.
First, I was surprised at how sad I was to leave my old house, the memories, the parties, the tender moments that took place in this great house. It wasn’t because I wasn’t excited and delighted with our new house, it was just the emotional letting go.
Then there was leaving the familiar, picking up the paper in the a.m., finding the bathroom in the middle of the night, (only takes one trip into your walk in closet at 3 am to wake you up), pointing your car in the same direction on the freeway and then you go on autopilot home. The familiar is critical to our soothing self.
As my wife would say, “This is a major un-grounding event.”
It made me think of our residents and their move into one of our assisted living and memory care communities. They lived in their house not 9 but 39 years, they have a zillion more memories then I do and I am sure overcome by the emotion of leaving something that has been familiar for half their life.
So what can you do to minimize the affect?
- Acknowledge it, talk about, reminiscence, have a ceremony of memories.
- Anticipate the unfamiliar and compensate, have the paper delivered to their door, mark the path to the bathroom clearly, set the GPS to drive to the new residence.
- Start rituals in your new home that you can look forward to.
Moving is never easy but we can only look forward.