An American who had been to the US Embassy in Lagos and was coming to Benin City, hand carried a note from the Consulate. The Consulate didn’t want to just courier the message, but have someone hand carry it. The note was to inform my husband that his mother had passed away a few days earlier. What to do? What was expected of him by his sister and family? What would our board say he should do?
If we stay overseas long enough, all of us will be faced with this dilemma. Grieving over the death of a loved one at anytime and in any place is difficult even as it is absolutely normal and expected. Living and working cross culturally usually means we find ourselves physically away from immediate family, relatives, our closest friends, and our faith community when a loved one dies.
This month’s article is drawn from Grieving From a Literal Distance by N. Ohanian. Ms Ohanian served overseas for many years and is currently in a doctoral program for Missionary Member Care. She provides practical helps for those who experience grief while living and working overseas and describes how to evaluate if a trip home or professional help is in order.
Diane, Peter’s Wife editor [Read more…]