Moving after the death of a loved one can be an important step toward creating your new normal. However, it can be emotionally exhausting. In addition to grieving, you may be faced with deciding where to relocate and worried about what to do with your loved one’s belongings.
Deciding where to move
Some things to consider when choosing your next home:
- The best location to find support. Depending on your situation, you may find it comforting to move near family and friends, especially if you have young children. You may want to relocate near a military installation for a variety of services for yourself as well as your children.
- Seeking new employment. You may want to consider looking into employment opportunities before you decide where to move. If you’re seeking employment through the federal government, you may be able to take advantage of special preference programs. Contact Military OneSource’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities to get a certified career counselor in your corner. Your SECO career coach can connect you with employers, education or other career resources in your current or new area.
- The affordability of your location. Perhaps you need to relocate to a place that allows you to live comfortably with your survivor benefits.
Once you’ve made a decision about where to move, you may want to:
- Plan ahead as much as possible and know the timeline for your move to reduce stress
- Reach out to your casualty assistance officer or your service’s long-term management program
- Contact the nearest military transportation office
- Find relocation assistance through MilitaryINSTALLATIONS
- Get online organizational checklists at Plan My Move
- Learn about financial assistance with the Personal Financial Management Program
- Turn to Military OneSource for resources and support, including financial counseling, moving assistance, information about survivor benefits and much more
Take your time with your loved one’s possessions
You, and only you, should decide what to do with your loved one’s personal belongings. When you are ready, you can sort your loved one’s belongings at your own pace and may want to consider asking friends and family for help. Ask yourself questions about each item to help you decide what to do with it such as:
- Could this item make a good heirloom for kids or grandkids?
- Would a family friend find comfort in the item?
- Can I donate it to charity to provide comfort to others?
- Should I keep it for myself?
Moving away from the military doesn’t mean that your relationship with the military has to end. As a surviving spouse, you have access to military installations and may access your Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities, commissary, exchange and medical privileges.
Military OneSource can help you through this process. Available 24 hours a day, this free service can provide you help through:
- Confidential, non-medical counseling from specially trained counselors
- Financial assistance for your move and your future
- Job transition support and education
- Other financial assistance options
Moving isn’t a one-person job. Tap into the support that is available to you and take advantage of the resources that can help you take this important step forward to your new normal.