Friday, May 18, 2007

Long distances

My grandmother passed away last fall. She had just celebrated her 80th birthday, a very happy day. She had been surrounded by her four daughters, grandchildren, brother, and other family members.

I wasn't there.

I had just had my son, and traveling was decided against.

Two weeks later her heart decided it was time to stop beating. Nothing would have changed had I been closer to where she lived, but it was painful to be so far away.

I traveled across the world with my infant son, to the village in the northern part of Sweden where she was born, to attend the funeral and say good bye.

Today was the interment. And once again, I was far away, only participating through phone calls and seeing the pictures afterwards. I know she knows I was "there". But still.

Sometimes it's hard being an alien.

11 comments:

Veranda said...

My husband fears many of the same things. We were in Stockholm for a month at this time last year and spent some time with his 90 year old grandmother. He knows at some time someone close to him will die and he won't be able to go home. Such a sad thing.
The United States is such a big country family gets spaced very far apart here too......sigh

miasworld said...

That is one of the reasons that I am going back home again for a couple of years - I do not want to be a guest in my own family. At the same time I know that I will not stay forever. At some point, I will pack my bags for a new adventure. Once an alien, always an alien?

Isle Dance said...

(((Hugs)))

Annika said...

Yes, I hate that. Hate being so far away...It hurts many times. And, yes, I so understand how you feel about your grandma. My Grandma is turning 89 this summer. Every time I leave her in the end of my summer vacation I know so very well that it can be the last time. It's hard...
*hugs*

Fia said...

Ja det finns inget jag kan säga som tröst så jag skickar en, nej två stora kramar.

Anne-Marie said...

Jag förstår så väl hur du känner. De här stora avstånden är jättejobbiga. Min pappa gick bort för några år sedan och jag hann inte ens dit innan han dog. Sänder en kram!

Anne said...

Förstår precis hur du känner. Just såna där saker är vad jag tycker är allra jobbigast med att bo långt bort. Tänk om det händer nåt. Att inte finnas nära och kunna ta hand om. Usch, jag vill inte ens tänka tanken...

miranda said...

This is also my main worry.
My dad is 70 and my husbands parents are similar ages and have both got heart troubles.
I may be 'living it up' here in California but I worry that i am not spending what could be their final years over with them over there.
My father (who lives on his own)and I used to go into town everyday and have tea and shop together. He has to do that on his own now as my sister works and doesn't really want to spend much time with him. Its sad for me as i would love to!
Its like a horrible choice...live here and have fun and a better standard of living with my own family or be back in the UK and spend quality time (before its too late!) with mine and Husbands parents. Tough choices!

Lotta K said...

Min faster (100 i höst) säger alltid "Det här är sista gången lilla Lotta" och jag säger alltid att det är det inte alls. (Hon väntar på att man säger emot.) Men någon gång blir det ju det...

Desiree said...

Skickar också en tröstkram. Jag förstår precis hur du känner. Det är otroligt jobbigt när någon nära eller kär person råkar ut för något och man befinner sig så långt borta. Det är helt klart en av nackdelarna med att bo i ett annat land.

JaCal said...

Veranda - that knowledge is hard. And yes, this country is huge! A lot of my friends here have families all over the country. Sometimes it is just as far as to go to Europe (except you don't need your passport).

Miasworld - yes, once an alien, always an alien I think. Great that you are going back - I have friends who have done the same thing. I'm lucky - my close family visits a lot so far I can enjoy intense short visits.

IsleDance - thanks!!

Annika - it used to be easier... now you realize that every visit might be the last...

Fia - tack!

Anne-Marie - tror vi alla har historier att dela - det är tufft med avstånd!! Tack!

Anne - det är den stora baksidan helt klart.

Miranda - yes, you're right on the spot there!

Lotta - jo, någon gång blir det. Tänk att få vara kvar tills man är 100!

Desiree - ja, nackdel verkligen! Men jag är inte ensam - känns skönt!

Tack till alla för alla snälla ord!!