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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Bell

Feeling "Heard and Understood"

It is difficult at any age to face all the tasks associated with making a move.  Contending with a move when you’re of a certain age can be that much more daunting!

I have had the pleasure of working closely with several individuals who have lived in their family home for thirty, forty and, in some cases, fifty years.  They have watched their children grow tall, often with the evidence in pencil still noted on some closet door, trim, or other spot that holds memories of happy times, sad times and undoubtedly, changed times.

These folks usually rationally understand the need to make a move.  They know that the stairs that were once climbed in seconds with little effort now require careful deliberation and considerable time so that they don’t risk yet another fall.  They know that they really haven’t been able to keep up the garden for the last few years and that the window boxes don’t look quite as colourful as they once did, even though the kids do make the effort a couple of times a year to ensure that things are spruced up outside.

The memories of holiday meals enjoyed in the dining room have been transferred to the adult kids with kids who have both the room and the energy to put together an entire turkey dinner for  fourteen.  Their elders now enjoy the role of guest but admittedly, the gravy is sometimes quietly forgotten or the stuffing is now gluten free?  How is that possible anyway?

The family home is filled with so many things and oh, so many memories.   Items that seemed too good to get rid of but that really haven’t seen any use in … decades?  Carafes that don’t have an accompanying maker or the good old percolator that made excellent coffee but took close to an hour to brew…  Silver that is now more tarnished than cherished and presents that were gifted on birthdays, Christmases and Mother’s Days that really seemed like a great idea at the time.  . . No one wants to hurt anyone’s feelings and no one ever wants a special son or daughter to feel that their gift isn’t being used and enjoyed. 

It just all seems like too much to deal with… Unless there is someone, who doesn’t have a lot of their own memories in that particular house with that particular family, who could come in and objectively help to move things forward?  Someone trustworthy who has a knack for making things seem manageable?

Unless there is someone who could patiently listen to the story around that unusual item or the history of that special remembrance?  Unless that experienced person could help to sort out the items that could be donated, if I said that I was ready to part with them, and to keep to one side the treasures that should remain with family?

An experienced senior move manager can do all of those things and so much more…  Any that also have a background in project management, prevention planning, mental health support, crisis intervention and dispute resolution also have a lot of skills and experience in active listening.  And that combination can go a long way to ensure that their clients feel “heard and understood” throughout the transition!

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