This week, I heard from someone who is struggling with some aspects of living far away from family.
Saying Goodbye Never Gets Easier
Dear Dr Jules,
It is the end of the summer holiday and I feel so sad. My family have all returned to the UK after a lovely visit. I know they have their own lives and that I cannot afford to join them, but I can't stand the pain each time we part.
I feel your pain on this one. I lived in America for fifteen years and only got to see my family during the summer holidays when we would fly back to Europe. The first time we said goodbye it was unbearable and I thought it would get easier, but it never did. Eventually I gave up a good career and moved to France so I could be around family again, and yet each time I approach the train station that we used to leave from I still feel that panic rising along with the memories of all the separations.
Family is so important to you and that is a gift you must not underestimate. Here are some tips I learned along the way that might help you to cope with the separation a little more easily:
Saying goodbye is never easy but it is survivable. If you ultimately decide that the pull of family is too great, then that may one day be something you all need to discuss as a family. In the meantime, enjoy the moments you have together and the memories you are making, they are something to treasure.
If you are feeling that you are struggling to cope or gain perspective, then counselling can be helpful in providing support and a non-judgmental space to work through your problems. For more in-depth help and counselling, consider contacting Dr Jules in person
This article was also posted at English Informer In France.