Today a personal story about the most difficult situation you’ll experience while living overseas – loss.
I lost a very special family member last week, my dear granddad passed away at the age of 78.
And then Australia is suddenly so far away from everything.
How am I dealing with this? What can you do in this situation? Keep reading and I’ll tell you how I am currently dealing with this painful loss.
“I want to go home” – that was the first thought that came into my mind when I heard the news. Saturday morning AUS time, Friday night Dutch time, my parents called. My dear, beloved granddad had passed away. Cancer and that was it.
So what then? I want to go home, but I can’t. For all different reasons, financial, emotional and practical. I decided to stay. Australia is my new home and I want to create my home here.
Dealing with the first goodbyes
In the week leading up to my granddads passing FaceTime was our best friend. Technology was our best friend and I want to thank the universe for creating this amazing opportunity.
I spoke with my granddad a few times, waved him goodbye and was able to be with him from this side of the world.
And then a week later that was it. FaceTime wasn’t an option anymore and I couldn’t get to him, even if I wanted to. But it didn’t matter in the end and that’s for 2 reasons
He knew that Australia is my new home. He knew I love being here and I gave up a life, to start a new one on this side of the world. And he was so proud. He was proud that I was doing this. Realising my dream, starting over and being in the place where I want to be most.
He also told my parents to keep me from coming back. ‘She belongs there’ were the words he used. And he gave me peace for being on this side
Flying back home to say goodbye would mean that my goodbye would be in The Netherlands. Nothing will have an attachment with Australia. After the funeral I will fly back to Australia and won’t have anything here to remind me of my granddad’s last goodbye.
I want to say goodbye to him here, in Australia. I want to create a spot for him here and a memory that I can visit any time I like.
That’s why I am staying here
Friday 22nd of December, 2017
The day of the funeral. The day of goodbyes.
I decided that this day would be dedicated to my granddad.
This is the time where The Netherlands is still asleep. And this will be my time for closure. I bought flowers and a balloon and will say my words as a goodbye to my granddad.
I picked a spot close to home, where I can remember him and be with him.
This is the time that my family will say goodbye. The funeral will take place. I will be attending this, once again via this amazing technology called FaceTime. My sister will speak on our behalf’s and a balloon will be send to heaven as a sign of my attendance.
I won’t be there personally, but I will be there with all my emotion and to the best of my capability.
Opa Frits, I love you, always and always