Husband Going Back for Funeral

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Old May 18th 2018, 12:55 am
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Default Husband Going Back for Funeral

Forgive me if this is a bit of a ramble, but I'm just looking for a place to share with people who will understand. Hubby is on a plane back to the UK as I type this. We received a call that his Aunt had passed. While not totally out of the blue (she was 92) it nonetheless has been difficult. And it has once again made us start having difficult conversations.

My parents have passed, but his are alive and (thankfully) well. But we know the day will come that they aren't.

Long ago we decided that we would retire back in the UK. But every now and then we talk about moving sooner. Our last trip back was in September, and we both agreed we didn't want to wait too many more years before heading back. We are both 50.

But on the drive to the airport we started talking about moving it forward. A major part of this was because I'm not able to join him on the trip back for the funeral. Two weeks' vacation per year makes that very difficult.

We recently had some very serious discussions with his doctor as well regarding course of treatments for his heart condition. Discussions involving short and long term costs of care - the type of discussion you never have to have in the UK.

We live a comfortable life here with the materialistic trappings that makes most Brits want to come to the US. But the very real possibility of losing everything because of expensive medical procedures quite frankly scares me. We do have health insurance through my employer, but we can't predict what kind of coverage we'll have in 5 years.

As I said, this is really just a bit of a ramble. I'm not really asking for any advise, it would just be nice to know that there are other people out there who understand. Friends and family in the UK are either of the "you should come back now" or the "why would you ever want to leave the US?" camp with none of them having ever experienced living in another country. And I know this is just compounded by the helpless feeling of sitting here at a keyboard while my husband heads back alone.

Thank you for the chance to vent.
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Old May 18th 2018, 1:10 am
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Default Re: Husband Going Back for Funeral

Originally Posted by Rebster View Post
Forgive me if this is a bit of a ramble, but I'm just looking for a place to share with people who will understand. Hubby is on a plane back to the UK as I type this. We received a call that his Aunt had passed. While not totally out of the blue (she was 92) it nonetheless has been difficult. And it has once again made us start having difficult conversations.

My parents have passed, but his are alive and (thankfully) well. But we know the day will come that they aren't.

Long ago we decided that we would retire back in the UK. But every now and then we talk about moving sooner. Our last trip back was in September, and we both agreed we didn't want to wait too many more years before heading back. We are both 50.

But on the drive to the airport we started talking about moving it forward. A major part of this was because I'm not able to join him on the trip back for the funeral. Two weeks' vacation per year makes that very difficult.

We recently had some very serious discussions with his doctor as well regarding course of treatments for his heart condition. Discussions involving short and long term costs of care - the type of discussion you never have to have in the UK.

We live a comfortable life here with the materialistic trappings that makes most Brits want to come to the US. But the very real possibility of losing everything because of expensive medical procedures quite frankly scares me. We do have health insurance through my employer, but we can't predict what kind of coverage we'll have in 5 years.

As I said, this is really just a bit of a ramble. I'm not really asking for any advise, it would just be nice to know that there are other people out there who understand. Friends and family in the UK are either of the "you should come back now" or the "why would you ever want to leave the US?" camp with none of them having ever experienced living in another country. And I know this is just compounded by the helpless feeling of sitting here at a keyboard while my husband heads back alone.

Thank you for the chance to vent.
Hi Rebster. Although our circumstances are different, I do understand your worry for the future and your wish to be home, especially right now. I well remember the feeling of seeing my husband off from Australia to the UK to see his terminally ill brother. It's a lonely feeling, a helpless feeling and a sad feeling. It makes us think about our life choices, our future and our own and our partner's mortality. You just want to be there, for so many reasons. To support your husband, to be with family at these passages of life and death, to just be there.

There's 59 year old Aussie in the UK who's sitting on her back porch and thinking of you. Please take good care of yourself xx
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Old May 20th 2018, 3:26 pm
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Hello Rebster. My circumstances are very different too - and in reverse in a manner of speaking.

We left a daughter behind in the USA when we came back to the UK, and she is getting married in October. We were able to be there for a week in April for a family celebration, and I was lucky enough to be with her when she purchased her dress. But being back here in the UK, I realise how much I am missing out on. And plans for me and the OH to do certain things for the wedding during the week before when we will be there, such as designing the decor, and putting all the pieces together, are suddenly being co-opted by the soon-to-be-mother-in-law. Don't want to cause waves so holding my tongue. Not being there takes you out of the picture, even if you don't want to be.

So I can understand the internal dialogue about where you should or should not be. Chances are, with the way life throws curve balls, there could be, at one time or another, a reason why you should be back in the US instead of in the UK. You can only continue to discuss the pros and cons of your situation until you come to a clear decision and what's best for you.

It's no fault of yours that cannot be there for your husband. Try to stay in touch as much as possible while he is here. I am sure he will appreciate your support even from afar. Wishing you peace during this very difficult time xx
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Old May 20th 2018, 6:06 pm
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Default Re: Husband Going Back for Funeral

Thank you both for your kind words.

My husband and I have been using Messenger and Skype to keep in touch and send photos. It's really been helpful - I cannot fathom how people dealt with the distance years ago when nobody had mobile phones or social media.

Today he's with his parents and cousins. I'm glad he was able to get back to spend time with them though I really wish I were by his side.

I suppose this isn't so much about being back in the UK as it is about being there for your loved ones, wherever that may be. It really is helpful to know that other people understand and are dealing with these issues themselves. Thank you for sharing your experiences and understanding. xx
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Old May 21st 2018, 12:59 am
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Rebster - I think it is hard for people who haven’t left a country for a significant amount of time to grasp the internal dialogues and thought processes that we go through. Nor should they be expected to. That is why this forum is so incredible. We realize that we are not alone in what we think. There are subtle nuances that are hard to explain to people. With my DH and me returning to Scotland in July I didn’t know how to respond to someone who said to me a few days ago “Is Arizona not your home after all these years?” It was my home when we were raising 3 boys and were in the workforce. Sending best wishes your way.

Last edited by Caroline in Arizona; May 21st 2018 at 2:22 am. Reason: grammar
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Old Jun 16th 2018, 1:16 pm
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Rebster, I think your dilemma arises from the fact that you are both British, and you "can go back." Many of us here married Americans, and made a decision that this is where we would live permanently. My husband, children and grandchild are here, so I would never leave the US, because I would feel cut off from them. Since my parents are dead, and one of my brothers died three years ago, I feel more sort of cut off, even though I go back most every year. Things that bother me are - I make plans months ahead and tell family members when I will be there. They make their own summer plans, after the fact, and sometimes, say "oh, we aren't going to be here, or "can you change your dates about such and such?" The last time I went to the UK was to a cousins 50th wedding anniversary near London. When I got there, I found out my brother was going to Portugal on a golf holiday, and I never saw him. People arrange their holidays, and say well I won't be there. My cousin. changed plans with us about three times, and I found out it was because her grandchildren had asked them to do something, or the bowls team were having a social, that kind of thing. They don't mean any harm, but we can't change our plans just like that.

DH and I go with the flow. Sometimes he comes, and sometimes I go by myself. When my mum died, my daughter and I went. I had a son in high school, so DH stayed with him. When my brother died, we had just come back from three weeks in France (back 3 days), so I went alone. I'm used to it - and it's just life. Like I said, I don't have the choice to go back, because of family, but you do because you are both British. My brother has a wife, in-law siblings, two children, and four grandchildren - he loves to see me, as we are a close family - but they come first. If they need to go to their house and keep the dogs, or whatever, off they go. What I'm saying is, if you go back, don't expect family members to include you in everything. You might be on your own a lot, and wonder why you did it. It's a hard decision, and good luck.
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Old Jun 17th 2018, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Husband Going Back for Funeral

Originally Posted by Caroline in Arizona View Post
Rebster - I think it is hard for people who haven’t left a country for a significant amount of time to grasp the internal dialogues and thought processes that we go through. Nor should they be expected to. That is why this forum is so incredible. We realize that we are not alone in what we think. There are subtle nuances that are hard to explain to people. With my DH and me returning to Scotland in July I didn’t know how to respond to someone who said to me a few days ago “Is Arizona not your home after all these years?” It was my home when we were raising 3 boys and were in the workforce. Sending best wishes your way.
Ah yes, those who must comment, lol. I got a few of those about leaving the USA. Easy to brush off - not so much the "how could you leave your daughter behind" ones. But even that you get over eventually. If you and your family are in agreement, ppfftt to everyone else!
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Old Jun 17th 2018, 8:32 am
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Default Re: Husband Going Back for Funeral

Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
Rebster, I think your dilemma arises from the fact that you are both British, and you "can go back." Many of us here married Americans, and made a decision that this is where we would live permanently. My husband, children and grandchild are here, so I would never leave the US, because I would feel cut off from them. Since my parents are dead, and one of my brothers died three years ago, I feel more sort of cut off, even though I go back most every year. Things that bother me are - I make plans months ahead and tell family members when I will be there. They make their own summer plans, after the fact, and sometimes, say "oh, we aren't going to be here, or "can you change your dates about such and such?" The last time I went to the UK was to a cousins 50th wedding anniversary near London. When I got there, I found out my brother was going to Portugal on a golf holiday, and I never saw him. People arrange their holidays, and say well I won't be there. My cousin. changed plans with us about three times, and I found out it was because her grandchildren had asked them to do something, or the bowls team were having a social, that kind of thing. They don't mean any harm, but we can't change our plans just like that.

DH and I go with the flow. Sometimes he comes, and sometimes I go by myself. When my mum died, my daughter and I went. I had a son in high school, so DH stayed with him. When my brother died, we had just come back from three weeks in France (back 3 days), so I went alone. I'm used to it - and it's just life. Like I said, I don't have the choice to go back, because of family, but you do because you are both British. My brother has a wife, in-law siblings, two children, and four grandchildren - he loves to see me, as we are a close family - but they come first. If they need to go to their house and keep the dogs, or whatever, off they go. What I'm saying is, if you go back, don't expect family members to include you in everything. You might be on your own a lot, and wonder why you did it. It's a hard decision, and good luck.
Mallory, you are so right about everyone getting on with their lives, as they should. After all, we were the ones who left and the world did not stop revolving. I have found this with both family and some old friends. Used to be easy and cheap to hop on a train to see someone, but not so affordable anymore. If it wasn't for facebook, we wouldn't have any contact at all, since we don't live near anyone. One of the perks of living on that island known as Norfolk, to be honest. Forces you to make loads of new friends.
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Old Jun 17th 2018, 9:02 am
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From my experience, we inevitably include thoughts of friends and family in our deliberations, but their own lives won't necessarily conform to our plans. About twenty five years ago an old mate was accepted as an apprentice to a Japanese sword maker and was going to live in Japan for four years. His mother was unwell and asked him to put off going until she was 'gone'. She's still with us. Of course, making the decision to move on medical grounds is another thing altogether.
On the point of comments, I have always thought that with at least some people, they feel an implied criticism of their lifestyle if you chose to move to something else.
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Old Jun 18th 2018, 12:46 am
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Originally Posted by Perth View Post
Mallory, you are so right about everyone getting on with their lives, as they should. After all, we were the ones who left and the world did not stop revolving. I have found this with both family and some old friends. Used to be easy and cheap to hop on a train to see someone, but not so affordable anymore. If it wasn't for facebook, we wouldn't have any contact at all, since we don't live near anyone. One of the perks of living on that island known as Norfolk, to be honest. Forces you to make loads of new friends.
I’m going to be in the UK in July, and plan to visit a friend in Herefordshire, before I visit my family. Thr cost of train and coach tickets is shocking. I know Norfolk is quite isolated. Last time I was there I took a train from Bristol to Dorchester, and remember it was v expensive.

Exciting news about your daughter getting married! Lots of planning to do!
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Old Jun 18th 2018, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Alianco;12517322[b
]From my experience, we inevitably include thoughts of friends and family in our deliberations, but their own lives won't necessarily conform to our plans[/b].
.
This has been my experience! Even close family have moved on and I do not really feature. We planned our retirement around this and were disappointed big time! Everyone was so gushing and encouraging us to come back but when we did we found we did not feature much in their lives. It hurts but it is a fact. Facebook and social media has been wonderful in keeping in touch but it has also been hard to see your friends and family having a good time without you! Then you discover people only put the best of their lives on Facebook! These last few weeks I have wished I have been completely cut off and back to the old ways of letters and cards and odd phone call!
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Old Jun 28th 2018, 3:13 pm
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Kids grow up, become adults and move on. That is the reality of life in non-traditional societies. A difficult experience and I am still learning to live with the reality..
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Old Jun 28th 2018, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Kids grow up, become adults and move on. That is the reality of life in non-traditional societies. A difficult experience and I am still learning to live with the reality..
As soon as we made the difficult decision to come back to the U.K. and live in London, both our children and their families decided to move out of London! By the time we had been back for two months, both had gone!
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Old Jun 29th 2018, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Mallory View Post


I’m going to be in the UK in July, and plan to visit a friend in Herefordshire, before I visit my family. Thr cost of train and coach tickets is shocking. I know Norfolk is quite isolated. Last time I was there I took a train from Bristol to Dorchester, and remember it was v expensive.

Exciting news about your daughter getting married! Lots of planning to do!
Thank you Mallory. Talk about expensive! Nothing more so than a wedding. Glad we stopped at the one child.
You should be here soon. Hope you have a lovely time.
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Old Jul 27th 2018, 4:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Perth View Post
Thank you Mallory. Talk about expensive! Nothing more so than a wedding. Glad we stopped at the one child.
You should be here soon. Hope you have a lovely time.
I did have a good time, thanks. Weather was superb! Caught a few buses and trains. One train was an hour late. One hop-on bus in Bristol was 50 mins late, but two showed up at the same time. So very English! Ha ha.

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