I had a post in mind but a death in the family has been on my mind for the last several days. He was actually the father of one of my closest friends. I have known him since I was one-year-old and getting that fateful phone call early Saturday morning was like getting kicked in his chest by a horse.
He is not the first father from my group of friends to have passed on and not even the first parent. Sadly he will also not be the last. But it was the first time I was too far away to do more than simply sit on the other end of the phone and listen and cry. It was the realization that living half a world away not only means missing the joyous times – but also being too far away to lend support for the sad times. It is for this reason, I believe, that this news has hit the hardest.
To be fair, even if I was still in Chicago or Indiana – it would have been the same situation (as my friend lives in California). But it is a price to pay for distance. I don’t want to go into details. I have already written what I could for my friend about the subject. Those of you who know who I am referring to, please send love and positive vibes.
Death always makes you think about mortality – specifically of those of your more elder relatives. I can assure you that those living abroad think about it heavily when the subject comes up. It is something we try not to think about and about 99% of the time, we are successful. But when we are faced with it…
My mom went through this with my grandmother (my abuelita). I don’t remember much as I was only 8 years old at the time. My grandmother’s health was failing and my mother waited anxiously for the phone call from my aunt in Peru to call when it was over. When that day finally came, I remember a whirlwind of events which included flying immediately to Peru for the funeral and missing the next few weeks of school to be with family I didn’t know very well (at the time) in a language I barely spoke.
It is an uglier side of living abroad and I do apologize for bringing up such a downer of a subject. But that is the main reason for this blog, isn’t it? To explore all the facets of living abroad. The good, the bad, AND the ugly. While it is a constant, and sometimes overwhelming, adventure that whizzes by at the speed of light – there are a few stones that get in the way and make you stumble.
Next week will be something funnier.
In the meantime – here’s a funny photo of my abuelita on a tractor 😛 (by the way, that’s my dad and I chilling on lawn chairs as my mom took this photo).
Bis nächste Woche!