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Guilt of leaving behind your parents

Guilt of leaving behind your parents

Old Mar 5th 2019, 8:45 pm
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Default Guilt of leaving behind your parents

Hi,

just want to know how you cope with leaving parents behind when moving to Australia?

I have all this to come!

Did your parents reaction make you feel like you couldn't go?

Just curious.

Thanks heaps.
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Old Mar 5th 2019, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

Everyone's mileage will be different with this.

For me I exchanged a life in New Zealand for quality loving time with my Dad. I should not have done that to me or to him. I broke both our hearts. NZ wasn't going anywhere & there are many places to make a good life if change is what is felt is needed. My Dad though, he died and I can never recover the time I lost which could have been spent with him.

Guilt? No. Loss? Yes.
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Old Mar 5th 2019, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

These things are going to be very personal, and truly every family is going to be different. I am in the US, but I think the same principle applies as moving to Oz.

My mother was very supportive, and enjoyed visiting as often as she could while she was still able to travel. Then after about 12 years she was no longer able to travel and misses visiting us, and her only grandchild.

My father never travelled well, and flatly refused to emigrate when I was a child even though my mother was keen to. He was nonplussed when we left the UK, and never said much about it - he was in any case, a man of few words, and he was like a fish out of water when he visited. So it is hard to be sure what he thought, but he seemed surprised, perhaps pleasantly (he was always hard to read), how we were able to live in the US compared to the UK - our home is about four times the interior size of the terraced house we owned in London, and on about 30 times the land area; we later bought additional adjoining property too, so this is dramatically different from the semi in the burbs that my parents bought. In the UK you'd probably be talking £1m-£2m for a home of this size, and some of the land, though it cost us very much less in the US.

My sister complained that I had "abandoned our parents", but then my sister likes to complain. Two years after we left the UK, she and her husband left too, first to France, and later to the US! Go figure!

Much as miss being closer to my mother, especially as she now feels to old to travel, I don't regret leaving the UK, and I think my mother is still supportive, as she can see we built a better life than we would likely have managed in the UK.

So far we have had to make one of the expected two urgent trips back to the UK, when my father died 13 years ago, six years after we immigrated to the US. That came as a surprise, though not a total shock as he had a heart condition for which he refused the preferred treatment plan. My mother is in fairly good health, but with a pacemaker. Though she is clearly declining, I expect her to live at least another five years, but I doubt she will survive another ten. You just need to be aware that in the age of jet travel, urgent trips home are practical but expensive. I know that some people still shrug them off, as you would have done in the age of travel by ship, but if you have other family back in the UK there will likely be an expectation that you rush home for funerals of close family members. If my mother dies while my daughter is still in school (other than during a school holiday) then I will return for the funeral without my wife and daughter, and as far as I am concerned my sister can go boil her head if she doesn't like it!

I am not sure really how useful my experience is as certainly YMM likely will V.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 5th 2019 at 9:51 pm.
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Old Mar 6th 2019, 6:08 am
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

When they were young and healthy it wasn’t an issue and, to be brutally honest I never gave a thought to the fact that I was taking their, then, only grandchild away from them. I expected to, and did, return for frequent visits then when they retired they decided to holiday in Australia for 6 months every year. They did that for 15 years then the wheels fell off the parental wagon and at 81 they decided the long trips are too much and the travel insurance too expensive. So I visited more.

However, there came a point where it was obvious to Blind Freddie that they needed help so one time we came on holiday we just didn't return and shacked up in their spare bedroom. We didn't expect it to be 7.5 years but we have been here caring for them ever since with the caring role changing subtly as their needs changed. We kept mum at home for 4 years and her last 18 months before she died were in a care home. Dad now needs 24/7 cover so we tag team, my DH and I. We get the odd respite when he goes into care but I think we are going to have to bite the bullet and put him into care full time which will mean selling his house and us returning to Australia leaving him alone (but very well card for in an environment with lots of other peoole) - do I feel guilt at the prospect? Sure, but by the time we can leave I will have given 8 years of my life as a carer and heading for my 70s I think that's enough - wish I had a sibling!!!

But in answer to your question - everyone is different and if you're going to be a successful migrant you're going to have to be very self sufficient and more than a little selfish otherwise you will go under. How you deal with the guilt is up to you. Personally I couldn't cope with the guilt of leaving two nonagenarians alone with no close family to founder but I could happily leave them at 60. You may decide to go with the flow like we did - be fine when they didn't need us and be there when we did.

Good luck
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Old Mar 6th 2019, 7:02 am
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

Originally Posted by OZZYOZZY View Post
Hi,

just want to know how you cope with leaving parents behind when moving to Australia?

I have all this to come!

Did your parents reaction make you feel like you couldn't go?

Just curious.

Thanks heaps.
I suppose it can depend on your relatiionship with your parents, my dad said he would be sad to see me/us leave ( I was very close to my dad as were our children and my DH) but he said we both could visit each other and that it was a great opportunity, to experience a different way of living etc, my dad use to visit every year and we alwayd had a truly fab time , it never got any easier saying bye at the airport, fast forward to now and my beloved dad passed away 3 years ago and I could not have imagined not being here to look after him as he had all his life looked after me, I was here for which I am eternally greatful and not sure how I would of coped if I had not been here. Migration it can bring all types of situations as life does, you just have to deal with them as best as you can at the time. Good Luck x
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Old Mar 6th 2019, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

My mother tried to do the guilt trip but she never had a very good relationship with my kids and both my brother and sister and their kids were still local. She never came to visit, never even thought about it. It completely depends on your relationship with your parents. I was never close to my mother, my sister was incredibly close to her so she was happy to be her helper/support. It's undoubtedly easier these days with video messaging etc but be aware that 'oh you're only 24 hours away' is bullshit. When (if) you get that call you have to sort time off from work, organise all manner of stuff, book flights that may not be for a few days etc. I got the call that the mother wasn't well - pretty much out of the blue, she'd always been very fit and well - and I should probably fly over to see her. Flights were booked, wasn't an emergency as such so four days later. However just before leaving for the airport I got the call that she'd died. Regardless of our relationship, it sucked. but from what everyone says I should be relieved we didn't see her at the end so I am.
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Old Mar 6th 2019, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

I guess it depends on how your relationship with parents is. For me I loved them dearly, but only saw them once every couple of months anyway. My Dad passed away 5 years ago and I went back to see him when he was ill and then again for his funeral. I bought mum an Ipad and setup Skype on it for her, we see and speak to her via Skype at least once a week now. My brother lives 5 minutes from her and rarely see her at all. I go back once a year to see her, and we usually go on a small trip to Ireland, Scotland, Wales etc and spend time together. She seems happy enough.

No guilt at all. I wish I could have been there more for dad towards the end of his life, but you do what's best and practical at the time. No regrets.
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Old Mar 7th 2019, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

Originally Posted by OZZYOZZY View Post
Hi,

just want to know how you cope with leaving parents behind when moving to Australia?

I have all this to come!

Did your parents reaction make you feel like you couldn't go?

Just curious.

Thanks heaps.
Yes. The inlaws were and still are terrible. They are extremely selfish looking after their own space with no regard for the life their child and grand children have ahead of them.

My advise is the crack on, if your parents play the guilt game, then its testament to their own selfishness. Its your life, not theirs.
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Old Mar 8th 2019, 8:39 am
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

I have terrible guilt about leaving my dad. I don't know how to reconcile with that. I have lots of other siblings tho and they have produced grandchildren to lessen my guilt a bit! My bloody mother made her own way out here and married an Aussie. My husband's parents used to play on conscience but they've becoming increasingly more impressively asshole-ish, so now I am grateful for the distance.
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Old Mar 8th 2019, 11:37 pm
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

It is never easy to leave family but we all have our own lives As a parent now my children are grown and independent I am there if they need me (and I have flown back to the UK because my son still needed his mum at a critical point in his life!). But I still have my own life to lead and my OH and I have plans for the future so we can enjoy our retirement (fingers crossed we stay healthy enough). We don’t want to sit at home that’s for sure.
Neither of our sons look like producing grandkids any time soon but we are very close to my sisters kids and theirs (she had three kids and 6 grandkids) and always make the effort to see them,keep in touch and send gifts. We never NEED to pay for accommodation when visiting the UK as we get plenty of invites. I do wish they would come here and stay with us more though.
My FIL is the only parent we have left in the UK and he is getting old and frail. He had two other children one who visits frequently and helps out and another who doesn’t. Last year we saw him for longer and more often than the other brother who only lives a couple of hours drive away! We did lots for him when we lived in the UK and he is very supportive, although sad we are no longer there. We deal with it, he is 90 now and we know we will have to make THE trip soon but we are prepared for that and hope we will get warning and can spend time with him before the inevitable happens. Having said that I wasn’t around when my own dad died and he lived 20 mins away!

I certainly wouldn’t put any guilt on my own sons just for wanting to lead their own life, it is what I brought them up to do after all nit as potential careers for me in my dotage!
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Old Mar 9th 2019, 2:22 am
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

Depending on closeness of relationship, I suppose, but the fact remains, moving to the other side of the world, will likely have destabilising relations among other things, happening over time. Deep down, I suspect many a parent, does indeed expect at the very least 'a helping hand' in dotage or illness.

Not wanting, nor having kids myself, I'd be a moderately rich fellow indeed , if over the years paid a hundred dollars, , for being asked questions like 'Who'll look after/support you when old"? Many a parent does indeed expect. Easy to state otherwise, of course when light years away.

What it can also throwinto the ring, is inheritance. Those remaining, will (from my experience) claim the right to most. Further in a position to bully and in other ways influence outcomes.

One thing is increasingly certain though. There is a need for someone to advocate on ones behalf, with age, in order to arrive at best outcomes, and be on the look out for abuse.
One look at the recent revelations in Australian Aged Care facilities, will point the importance out of having this. UK care facilities, none the better, I believe.
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Old Mar 10th 2019, 11:14 am
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
Everyone's mileage will be different with this.

For me I exchanged a life in New Zealand for quality loving time with my Dad. I should not have done that to me or to him. I broke both our hearts. NZ wasn't going anywhere & there are many places to make a good life if change is what is felt is needed. My Dad though, he died and I can never recover the time I lost which could have been spent with him.

Guilt? No. Loss? Yes.
so sorry to hear of your loss.
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Old Mar 10th 2019, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

Thank you to you all that have put your message on here. When my husband told his parents recently, his mum was a bit tearful and says different things etc....then said hopefully I'll be dead by the time you go!! His father was ok ish, but didnt make my husband feel awful etc....I think his mums comment is sad and it made my husband feel awful.
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Old Mar 10th 2019, 11:24 am
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

Originally Posted by the troubadour View Post

What it can also throwinto the ring, is inheritance. Those remaining, will (from my experience) claim the right to most. Further in a position to bully and in other ways influence outcomes.
Also my experience, 3 out of 4 of us have emigrated leaving the remaining sibling to (for example) complain "you lot buggered off and left me to deal with the situation" (in this case an elderly but fully functioning & independent Mother) and has done a brilliant manipulation job - to her own personal advantage.

Last edited by Expatrick; Mar 10th 2019 at 12:37 pm.
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Old Mar 10th 2019, 12:35 pm
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Default Re: Guilt of leaving behind your parents

Originally Posted by Expatrick View Post
Also my experience, 3 out of 4 of us have emigrated leaving the remaining sibling to (for example) to complain "you lot buggered off and left me to deal with the situation" (in this case an elderly but fully functioning & independent Mother) and has done a brilliant manipulation job - to her own personal advantage.
Not necessarily the case though. My sister and I got equal shares when my Dad went she is in the UK, I had been here several years. My mum's current position is that 2 of her kids will get an equal share - thats me and my sister. The third, who is in the UK, gets his just desserts, absolutely nothing.
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