about my aging parents?
What should I do
about them while I am overseas?
This is one
of the toughest issues to face and with no real answer
except the one that only you can provide.
overseas both of my parents died (about four years
apart). I wasn't able to be present at exactly the time
of death, for either one of them. I think they would
have liked that and I truly regret not being there.
your parents are getting old, you are quite aware that
this may come about. But usually, we are not able to
time these things, and most parents don't or wouldn't
want you to sit a "death watch" - at least not for an
extended period of time.
As I knew
this would come up and I had planned to live overseas
for the rest of my life, I made a real effort to go home
more often, to write and call my parents more than I
ever had, and to let them know that I loved them. I
told them that I loved them regularly and purposefully.
I didn't want to regret that I had not done those
things, once they were gone. I am glad I did.
Both of my
parents were ill for extended periods of time before
their passing. The only way I could really have been
there would have been to quit my job and move back home
for many years - disrupting my wife's life as well as
mine. I think they understood my choice to not do so.
But, it still hurts when you are not there at the right
moment to provide the comfort you would like to give
If you plan
on staying overseas a long time, and your parents are
still alive, straighten things out with them. Get your
relationship on a sound footing, so you won't regret not
having done so. Make an extra effort to let them know
you love them and settle any outstanding issues from
childhood. It's very much worth the peace it will bring
living a life overseas is growing up and getting handle
on things from the past. Be an adult, do the right
thing about your parents. You'll be very glad that you
did - and they will too.