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aconcannon

Why do goodbyes never get easier?

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I’ve been very happily living in Australia with my husband for 4.5 years. Yes there’s been a lot of emotional highs & lows, mainly due to my narcissist mother who refuses to visit us or fully accept our lives in Australia, but we’ve never looked back & can’t ever imagine moving back to the UK.

 

We are currently in the UK with our annual Christmas trip coming to an end tomorrow. I always feel very emotional when the time comes to leave, as do my parents, but I find every year when the final 24 hours are looming Its emotionally harder than the year before... is there any hope out there? Have people found the goodbyes have got easier over time, or does everybody feel the same as me? I’ve spent the whole of today trying to not let my emotions show, but every time I look at my ageing & not so healthy parents I feel tremendous amounts of guilt & an urge to break down in tears! This year, I’ve even had thoughts creep into my mind that maybe we should consider moving home - something I’ve never considered before & never thought I would consider!

 

My husband isn’t close to his family & so his emotional attachment is a lot less. Fellow ex pat friends don’t seem to relate either as they have the bonus of their families visiting them in Australia so they generally know when they’ll next see their parents again - I don’t have that luxury. I wonder if that’s what causes the bulk of my upset.

 

Sending positive & happy vibes to anybody else in a similar position to me right now & thanks in advance to anybody who can share their words of wisdom. This forum has been an incredible support / coping mechanism for me over the years :-)

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No, I don’t think they get easier as ageing relatives can mean the possibility of not seeing them again. 
I’m trying to become more pragmatic about it after 30 years, I know I’ve visited when possible and kept in touch. I’ve reached a point in my life when I need to do what’s best for me while still caring about my diminishing relatives.

I hope you will feel better once you are back home.

 

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No, I don’t think they get easier as ageing relatives can mean the possibility of not seeing them again. 

I’m trying to become more pragmatic about it after 30 years, I know I’ve visited when possible and kept in touch. I’ve reached a point in my life when I need to do what’s best for me while still caring about my diminishing relatives.

I hope you will feel better once you are back home.

 

 

 

Thanks for the kind words. Much to my husbands dismay (as it means sacrificing any other holidays) we have saved up our annual leave & visited for 4 weeks annually since we emigrated 4.5 years ago. I have no regrets from doing this and I know I’ve more than made the effort, but moving forward I just don’t know if I can continue to work for 11 months of the year in a bid to come home to see my family for 1 month. My husband has decided after this trip he doesn’t wish to return for at least 3 years...so it looks like I’ll be returning alone next year, or not at all.

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12 minutes ago, aconcannon said:

 

Thanks for the kind words. Much to my husbands dismay (as it means sacrificing any other holidays) we have saved up our annual leave & visited for 4 weeks annually since we emigrated 4.5 years ago. I have no regrets from doing this and I know I’ve more than made the effort, but moving forward I just don’t know if I can continue to work for 11 months of the year in a bid to come home to see my family for 1 month. My husband has decided after this trip he doesn’t wish to return for at least 3 years...so it looks like I’ll be returning alone next year, or not at all.

I remember your previous post about your parents. I do sympathise with your husband, do you ever have a holiday in Australia or elsewhere just the two of you?

Perhaps try reducing your visits to bi - annual?

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I remember your previous post about your parents. I do sympathise with your husband, do you ever have a holiday in Australia or elsewhere just the two of you?

Perhaps try reducing your visits to bi - annual?

 

We always make the most of public holiday weekends and take breaks locally / interstate so we don’t do too bad. It would be nice to go overseas and explore some other countries near by, or to just have an extended trip somewhere together but time never permits as our annual leave is always banked up for coming home. I wish I was strong enough to drag the next trip to the UK out a bit longer, but I worry immensely about my parents health (which isn’t good) & then I feel huge amounts of irrational guilt that I’m putting my desire for a holiday in Asia over spending quality time with my parents whilst they’re still alive - such a rollarcoaster of emotions

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3 hours ago, aconcannon said:

 

Thanks for the kind words. Much to my husbands dismay (as it means sacrificing any other holidays) we have saved up our annual leave & visited for 4 weeks annually since we emigrated 4.5 years ago. I have no regrets from doing this and I know I’ve more than made the effort, but moving forward I just don’t know if I can continue to work for 11 months of the year in a bid to come home to see my family for 1 month. My husband has decided after this trip he doesn’t wish to return for at least 3 years...so it looks like I’ll be returning alone next year, or not at all.

That might be the way to go. My DH had no family in UK so he rarely made the trip with me back in the day. Then my son emigrated back (accidentally) so DH was marginally more inclined to visit but even then there were some milestones in our son's life that he missed (some he really regretted).

On balance I would say that farewells get much much harder as you see your parents ageing and each time you do go away with the "is this the last time?" Ringing in your brain. One of the last times I howled all the way to London on the train - the poor lass opposite me didn't know what hit her but, to her  credit, she was an amazing people person (hairdresser) and she really helped me (though she will probably never know just how much!).

Then we went on holiday to UK for my sons wedding and the DH took one look at my parents and said "we can't leave them alone here like this " so we haven't - for 8.5 years now.  

Now we are facing moving back again and there's just my dad left but now he decided he likes being in a care home and so we will leave him there. I'm hoping that will be easier. We are currently on holiday in Australia and the farewell wasn't too bad, next time it will be worse  I suspect but we don't have much choice.

I know your case  is different with very demanding parents - at least my parents never asked or expected it of us. But I always took the view that as I was the one to leave it was my responsibility to keep the family connections going. My parents weren't averse to travel though and enjoyed 6 months in Australia every year for 16 years. 

I don't think there is a magic answer, you do have to be very self sufficient and selfish to be a good migrant and I guess how well you can cope with any (self induced, not imposed) guilt really determines how you manage in the long term.  One thing I do know, having watched my mum deteriorate, and pass away, and just a couple of weeks ago watched my aunt die, that on balance I would prefer to get "the call" rather than dragging through life waiting for their end. I love my dad very much but am hoping that knowing I am leaving him in a caring environment will make that easier for me. I think he will be OK - he tells me he is going to go quietly and I hope for his sake that he does (nearly 96, it'll happen!)

Have a good trip back and know that you're a strong  woman who can cope with anything!! 

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No I never found it was easier over time and I was just as emotional when Mum flew back to the UK after visiting us here.  I was a blubbering heap for a couple of days.  I did worry about her as she got older but she was always very healthy - never been in hospital in her life - not even to have babies.  She was still playing tennis in her 70s and golfing until the week before she died in her 80s.  Her heat attack/stroke was very unexpected and she died 5 days later.  Thankfully I was able to be with her day and night for the last 3 days of her life but then the guilt set in that I should have been there when the heart attack occurred.  I was with her for 6 weeks Dec/Jan in the UK and she died in the April.  I think about her every day.  This was (for me) the worst part of migrating to Australia.

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I have been coping with saying goodbye for 27 years. First the goodbyes started with leaving our 3 children and parents in England when we moved to Brunei for my husband’s job. Our youngest a daughter was 13 and had to start at boarding school, one son at University and oldest just finished university, 

You think saying goodbye to parents is hard? Try leaving your 13 year old behind, there have been too many airport farewells to want to remember.

Parents have sadly died while we were overseas. That is hard not being there. 

Somehow you learn to cope, after all this is the life you have chosen.

We have just said goodbye to our son and our only 2 grandsons who have visited for 3 weeks, I Obviously felt sad, didn’t cry (well only a little tear) as have to accept this is our choice to live in Australia, so have to accept it or make a decision to move back to England and That’s not going to happen, We do have a son and daughter here, but they came after we had moved and made our new life here.

Funnily enough the situation is beginning to be the opposite to us moving away all those years ago as we are now the ageing parents in our 70’s, not sure how that happened?, and aware that our children are beginning to worry about us. We doubt that our UK family will visit here again for ages, the last visit was 6 years ago for our son’s wedding and this visit was for our daughter’s wedding. Our funeral might be the next one. Said in joke but possibly true.

We can and do luckily go back most years to see them, face time fairly regularly and all chat away.

So after a long winded post, yes in a way it does get easier, but it always hurts to say goodbye.

I do feel that if you are the one who has bravely decided on a new life overseas, then you have to accept it was your choice to usually leave family behind, learn to adjust and cope, and not to assume your family will visit you, for  Some people this is impossible, others just cope, others happily adjust to their new lives.

Take care and safe journey home.

Edited by ramot
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14 hours ago, aconcannon said:

but every time I look at my ageing & not so healthy parents I feel tremendous amounts of guilt & an urge to break down in tears! This year, I’ve even had thoughts creep into my mind that

! ?

Bit confused.

You say you have a narcissist mother (which sounds awful)......yet you feel tremendous amounts of guilt

Why?

Is that YOUR guilt?........ Or something your mother is projecting onto you?

All parents age, but the actual health of your parents is their responsibility - not yours.

Would they consider moving to Australia? Certainly a better lifestyle than in the UK.

If not, consider my cousin who lived in the UK against her will as she felt guilty about leaving ageing parents. She had 30 years of being a martyr, before finally permanently moving to Australia upon their deaths.

For the last 5 years they had no idea who she was (added stress)....

She could have been happily living in Australia (where she wanted to be) and looked after them just as well there.

But none of that eventuated, as she was lambasted for years by a narcissist mother

Hope the same fate does not befall you

😞

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Tootsie said:

Would they consider moving to Australia? Certainly a better lifestyle than in the UK.

 

Since the waiting time for a parent visa is currently at least 7 or 8 years, and the current goverment would like to close them down even further, I doubt that would be an option even if they wanted to


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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1 minute ago, Marisawright said:

Since the waiting time for a parent visa is currently at least 7 or 8 years

????

Oh well, sooner they get in line, the better eh!

🙂

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Tootsie said:

! ?

Bit confused.

You say you have a narcissist mother (which sounds awful)......yet you feel tremendous amounts of guilt

Why?

Is that YOUR guilt?........ Or something your mother is projecting onto you?

All parents age, but the actual health of your parents is their responsibility - not yours.

Would they consider moving to Australia? Certainly a better lifestyle than in the UK.

If not, consider my cousin who lived in the UK against her will as she felt guilty about leaving ageing parents. She had 30 years of being a martyr, before finally permanently moving to Australia upon their deaths.

For the last 5 years they had no idea who she was (added stress)....

She could have been happily living in Australia (where she wanted to be) and looked after them just as well there.

But none of that eventuated, as she was lambasted for years by a narcissist mother

Hope the same fate does not befall you

😞

 

 

Why would you expect parents to move t o Australia? Moving an elderly person is cruel, taking them away from their home, their neighbourhood, their friends and consigning them to isolation and financial  constraints. I would definitely question the "better lifestyle" for the elderly (this old chook is struggling with 42C today!) and talking to my mates, also elderly, about health services around here - appalling! 

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On 04/01/2020 at 20:32, Quoll said:

Why would you expect parents to move to Australia?

 

I would not expect them to. I never said that.

I said would they consider it as an option.

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When my Mum died Dad came here to live and said he just wished he could have got Mum out but she refused.  They did visit a few times but mostly we would visit them and, no, it never got any easier saying goodbye. Worse when they had been here and got on the plane because we parted at the airport. When we left there we would get a taxi from their house. Even after all these years I sometimes feel emotional looking at people saying goodbye to their rellies at Tullamarine.

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