Grief without death. Living with permanent homesickness.

 Grief manifests itself in many ways. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I had been dealing with grief for a decade. The irony is, nobody had died to have caused that grief. 

 Sure, there was my Nana who died in 2010. I was sad, but knew it would happen eventually. I went half way around the world to help send her off at the funeral. 

But this grief  has been something akin to homesickness that never ends and doesn’t improve over time. Some have suggested I return home, but I don’t. I love my family here too and to upend everything just to go home, it wouldn’t work because immigration is a pig, cost of moving is expensive and I have a job and a home (with a mortgage). Plus, I’ve become accustomed (grudgingly) to the way of life in the nation I’m in, so it probably wouldn’t work so well. There are some advantages to living in the US, but life holding a great value doesn’t seem to be one of them (if it did, healthcare would be more accessible to the masses, without fear of reprisal in the form of large medical bills). 

Grief manifests in many ways and is unique to the person experiencing loss. For me, the loss is less extreme, but my family are physically inaccessible, magnified so much more by the fact that I had flights booked to go back for a visit the year the pandemic hit. A planned trip (eight years in the planning) that never came to fruition, and am yet unsure when I will be able to return.- Recommendation: Regardless of financial situations, do not put off trips like this if you absolutely need to see your family. You never know when a pandemic might hit!

When the pandemic seemed to be taking a turn for the worse and then people were complaining about their rights being infringed upon, for the sake of those most vulnerable, my grief turned to intermittent rage. I would have outbursts every few days and I became angrier. And in the end, I finally realized, there is nothing I can do about the circumstances I am in that will make me happy no matter what decision I made. So I said, “God, your shoulders are bigger than mine. I can’t bear this weight of stupidity on my shoulders any longer. I trust you to ensure I will see my family before they pass”. 

I do NOT go to church, but church doesn’t make you anything. However, I believe in God. And the moment I gave up my burden and put my trust there, my mood lifted, the anger receded and I realized that no matter how trivial something may be to someone else, the burden it puts on you the individual is only as burdensome as you allow it to be. If you allow Jesus to help you with the load and put your faith in Him with matters that mean the most to you, life will suddenly get lighter. 

So now, when my thoughts start to go dark and I recognize that, I think of God, and something beautiful in the world and snap out of my enduring grief, or separation distress.I trust that everyone is where they’re supposed to be at this time and when the situation changes, I will know I can book my flights.

Related Posts