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Expat grief can’t go back home and help mum

Community Member



My dad passed away few days ago overseas. 

Due to distance I was not able to make it to the funeral but was thinking on flying soon to be there’d for mum.


I had seen them both 3 months ago and had a plan to visit them mid year. But now apart from feeling sad Im struggling with the ordeal and cost of such a long trip.


Mum have been with my brother for the funeral and few more days, but soon he has to go back to his job out of town, and mum will be alone.


I have this horrible feeling of guilt and anxiety through roof. I feel I’m letting mum down if I don’t travel now, but just arranging the trip is proving really difficult, mentally and financially.


Any advice or someone that have gone through this will be appreciated.

4 Replies 4

Community Member

What about skyping her until you become more settled.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Dleon~

I'm sorry your dad has passed away, it can be a pretty devastating thing for all of you, your mum, your brother and of course yourself.


It's most frustrating not to be able ot go to the funeral and I can quite understand your worry over not being wiht your mum right now. After all if you were there you might be able to help.


Still there are two sorts of help, the practical side to do wiht finances, transportation, legal matters, shopping and all the rest, which perhaps at least in the short term your brother may be able  occasionally to eihter assist wiht personalty or organise


Then the other side of course is love, comfort and cherishing. And there distance is not so much a  barrier as it was.


Do you think, rather that regarding yourself as letting your mother down you could adopt more of this latter role? It would take the pressure off travel plans and still allow you the close contact she might appreciate (as perhaps might you brother too)?


So what do you think?



Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Dleon, I am truly so sorry about your dads passing and being in another country can make the situation worse, but you have to think about the reality of this situation, the cost of being with your mum, the cost you still have to pay for where you are living and how much it's going to cost you to fly over and any realistic parent should understand that it may be impossible for you to be with her, but this doesn't mean you don't love her, of course you do and she would know of this.

I haven't been able to go to family funerals or events that are only a couple of hours away, but have emailed these people or rang them explaining my position.

Even though you love these people it may not be a viable situation to pack and travel o/s and if I was your parent, then I would totally understand.


Life Member.

Summer Rose
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Dleon

Please accept my condolences on the loss of your father. I’m very sorry that your grief is compounded by your guilt over not being able to travel to support your mum. This is a time when you really need to look after yourself, eat well, get plenty of rest and exercise and lean on friends for support. If you are seeing a professional for help with your anxiety this would be a good time to check in.

I have lived in Australia for over thirty years and sadly lost many loved ones from afar. I, too, have been unable to attend funerals where I would have loved to have been there due to a range of obstacles. You are not alone with this particular heartache.

The thing is, you love your mum and nothing is going to change that and your mum knows you love her. She loves you, too. It’s okay, my friend. You are doing your best and your heart is in the right place—and that’s all anyone can do.
You can still support your mum with regular phone calls, video chats (Skype or FaceTime if she’s able) and old fashioned letters. 
You may also want to consider bringing your mum here to visit you, if and when she’s able. A change of scenery might be really good for her once she gets her bearings and give her something to look forward to.

Or, perhaps you could start planning a future trip home (when you will be better placed) and that will give you both something to look forward to.

Kind thoughts to you💜