Here’s Why You Should Avoid Making Major Decisions While You’re Grieving
The passing of a loved one is among life’s most stressful events. The shock makes even small tasks and minor decision-making particularly difficult.
Given the severe emotional and physical toll that loss can have on those left behind, the mourning period is not the time to make serious decisions or significant changes. In the following article, we’ve compiled some major decisions that are best avoided during bereavement.
Disposal of keepsakes and mementos.
Even if photographs, letters, and other fond reminders of your loved one intensify your sadness right now, these sentimental items should not be discarded. If you toss them out, these irreplaceable articles will be lost forever and you are likely to regret the decision down the road. In time, perhaps six months or a year, you might feel differently as you begin adjusting to life after loss. At the very least, you will probably feel better equipped to determine what you wish to dispose of and what you want to keep. If you cannot tolerate having physical reminders nearby at this time, consider boxing them up and storing them in a spare room, garage, or a rented storage unit. When you are in a better frame of mind and are feeling up to it, you can sort through these treasured memories.
While it might be tempting to move to escape household reminders of your loved one, relocating right away may not be in your best interest. If you're thinking of selling your home or moving, it’s best to delay this decision for at least six months, if possible. Even in the best of situations, moving is a major undertaking—finding a new place to live, selling your existing home, packing, etc. It’s an exhausting process. In addition to the fact that you are probably already physically, emotionally, and spiritually depleted, moving may not be something you want to do at this point. It's entirely possible that you could view your living situation differently after several months, so it’s best to avoid making a hasty decision. If you feel that you cannot live in your home right now, explore ways to make a temporary and reversible move. For instance, instead of selling your house, could you live somewhere else for a while, such as a hotel, apartment, or with a friend or relative?
Returning to work after losing a loved one is often challenging. Employers may fail to be adequately sensitive, and those who are grieving may be in a heightened emotional state. Combined, these factors can cause the bereaved to find returning to work immensely difficult. They may contemplate quitting, finding a new job, or even switching careers. While many factors can contribute to this feeling, if possible, you should try to delay changing jobs for at least six months after the passing of your loved one. Once you have had time to adjust to the loss, you can re-evaluate whether a change in employment should be a priority. If your job feels too overwhelming to stay on, try to find a short-term solution. For example, could you arrange to take a leave of absence or abbreviate your hours rather than quitting?
Talk it out.
If delaying a major life decision for a period of time doesn't seem feasible, discuss the situation with a trusted friend, relative, or confidant. Having a conversation with someone who has your best interest at heart can help you gain a better perspective on the situation.
Grief can cloud your thought processes, and if you make abrupt decisions, you may regret them later. If you have questions or need additional help during your period of bereavement, our compassionate professionals are here for you. Please reach out to us anytime.
About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.