Anniversary while living abroad

by Gemma
(Central Europe)

This week will be my mothers 2 year anniversary - she died suddenly but after years of physical and mental health problems. We were lucky to have her as long as we did, in the end her broken heart finally gave in. The difficult part was there was no goodbye as she was alone in her apartment, also that she had so many problems - the worst being her depression and anxiety., however the last 6 months with her were really nice and I got my mother back after years of her being 'gone' due to alcohol and prescription drugs. Needless to say the bottom fell out of my world when she died, she was my best friend and my confidence and strength - I did everything with her support and encouragement. after she died I had very bad anxiety (I was 26 at the time) and took medication it for 6 months until I sad no more. I stayed with my godparents for this time and they were brilliant, they were exactly what I needed, a strong stable family. I picked myself back up, did really well in work and moved out, in that time I reaslised I wanted to try get a job abroad again (I was looking prior to her dying) so I took a month trip to Thailand on my own (group holiday) to decide on what I wanted. I came home and interviewed for a job in mainland Europe and got it. I'm here 6 months and its just been great, I have some great new friends and have met a great guy. I'm with the guy 3 months now and everything is going great, but this week i'm finding very difficult, last year I was at home for the anniversary but being abroad is so difficult - I don't know how to explain or how to 'be' with my boyfriend or anyone here for that matter - none of these people knew me before 6 months ago. I've been keeping it together for a few days now but its taking its toll on me. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Dealing with these emotions in a strange place with new people?

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May 20, 2014
Anniversary while living abroad
by: Doreen UK

Gemma try and see a counsellor. This may be your best way forward. Often we think we have grieved well and haven't. Or it may just be the way grief is unfolding for you. I lost my husband 2yrs. ago to cancer and I thought that I am coping well and moving forward only to find now that I am feeling his loss more. I keep myself busy but I still feel isolated. 2yrs on, no one in the family or friends want to hear of the grief struggle and so you may be like me feeling at bursting point and no outlet.
We each come with different life histories and this also affects our grief experience. But being familiar with the counselling experience I know it works and one can move forward better. Grief is a very hard and difficult experience because none of us knows if we will ever be done with it. Just when one thinks they are doing O.K. and suddenly be hit with a regression. Another problem is that none of us knows what grief feels like till we have gone through it and not knowing what to expect can overwhelm us and cause us turbulent emotions down the line. Triggers are also going off and can cause confusion. Grief does alter us as people because we are having to constantly adjust our life and thinking, and this is not always easy to do. We can feel very unsettled for a long time. Even making changes in one's life during bereavement can make one feel they made changes too soon and this can take a long time to overcome. Taking a holiday back to your godparents where you felt comfortable and secure may just be what you need.

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