I was recently watching Location, Location, Location the property search TV show. On it was a couple of retirement age who were down-sizing and moving to be closer to their three children, who were geographically spread out. They had looked at about 30-40 properties but couldn’t decide on one that they both liked. They were living in rented accommodation having sold their house, and were quite depressed that there was ‘nothing out there’. During the course of the programme it seemed that they loved their old house and didn’t really want to move but thought that it was the ‘sensible’ thing to do and both had different ideas about what they wanted in a new house. So no surprise that they hadn’t found anything on their own.
At one telling point, the man said ‘I know this is a stupid analogy but I feel like I am in mourning’. Of course the conversation moved swiftly on and Phil Spencer continued with his search to ‘replace the loss’. I was screaming at the TV ‘Stop! that is exactly right!’ The couple were grieving the loss of their family home, their familiar pattern of behaviour that went with living there, their friends, their emotional attachment to the area and all that living there meant to them. The sad thing was that the man had said exactly how he felt without anyone, least of all him, realising the truth behind those words.
Grief is not just about bereavement. It is about loss of anything of an emotional attachment, including your house, home and familiar patterns of behavior. Moving house is one of the biggest losses that produce feelings of grief. Of course they felt stuck and unable to make decisions, which in turn had led to lethargy and lack of hope for finding a new house. It was no surprise at the end of the programme after coming close to buying one house that it ended with them still looking. Their loss was not going to be replaced, because that is not the answer. What it had done was to focus their minds on the reality of their situation and what kind of property they were now looking for. A kind of completion with some steps that they could take on their own towards being able to move forward.
If you feel like you are mourning after any loss of an emotional nature then you are probably suffering with grief. The Grief Recovery Method can help you to realise this and help you to take steps to help you to move forward and lessen the pain that is attached to grief and have a future, albeit a different one.