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My son and 3 grandchildren have moved to Japan

(28 Posts)
Hales64 Mon 29-Jun-20 16:29:44

I am struggling to cope with the fact that, just before Christmas, my son and his 3 children moved to Japan. His wife had gone ahead in August. These particular grandchildren are the lights of my life as I had a lot of input in their lives due to their parents not coping very well. I video call them twice a week but I'm simply heartbroken without them. My life is empty now, even though I'm married, there is no joy in me anymore. I put on an act for everyone. I'm due to start over the telephone counselling for depression. I just don't know what to do now.

sodapop Mon 29-Jun-20 16:45:12

I'm sorry to hear you feel so sad now your family have moved to Japan Hales64 what a wonderful opportunity for the children to live there and experience that culture.
I hope the counselling helps you. Turn this on its head and be proud of your family for getting on with their lives and having such an adventure. There are many things you can do with your life, it doesn't need to be empty there are a lot of people out there who could use your help . There are a lot of things I'm sure you could enjoy once you feel a bit better. Our adult children move on and are independent so we have to make a different life without them. I wish you well.

AGAA4 Mon 29-Jun-20 16:45:34

Hales64. I am so sorry. Your family moving so far away is so hard for you.

It will take time to come to terms with and the counselling should help with that.

Be kind to yourself and take care flowers

Smileless2012 Mon 29-Jun-20 16:52:59

I'm sorry this has upset you so much Hales. Our son (no GC) lives in Aus. and we find that hard at times.

I hope you'll find counselling of some help, it will take time for you to get used too this huge change so as AGA has said "be kind to yourself and take care" flowers

quizqueen Mon 29-Jun-20 16:55:14

Japan is a lovely place to visit but I know it's not the same as having your family on your doorstep. Have they gone forever or is just a temporary career move? Is your daughter in law Japanese as she went on ahead and has she family there herself ? If so, I expect they want them to be the light of their lives too. Did you live close to your family (in law) all your married life?

silverlining48 Mon 29-Jun-20 16:59:06

I have a friend whose son moved to Japan to live with wife and two children. Its hard when our children move so far away. Will you be able to visit?

varian Mon 29-Jun-20 17:02:03

It sounds as if your son and his family are part of the Brexit brain drain.

The emigration of skilled and experienced British graduates has not been flagged up by the media. Do not expect to read about it in the Daily Express, Daily Mail or the Telegraph.

We are not talking about huge numbers of Britons who have decided to leave the country since the fraudulent referendum of 2016. Those who have emigrated are so many of our brightest and best people, especially highly skilled graduates and professionals between the ages of 25 and 50.

Many of us who are grandparents have had to accept that we may be too old to leave Brexit Britain, but our children and grandchildren will have much better lives elsewhere.

toscalily Mon 29-Jun-20 17:14:53

Hales64 Sorry to hear you are feeling down about your son & family moving, it is always hard when our loved ones live far away. Hopefully you will, with counselling be able to cope better and be able to then see this as an opportunity for them to benefit from a different country and culture. Probably the lockdown and the constant bad news in the media has had an impact on your state of mind, possibly more than you realise. flowers

varian Mon 29-Jun-20 17:17:56

Thank goodness for the internet, email, whatsapp, zoom etc.

It is not as good as real life contact but we are so much luckier than previous generation of grandparents who had only letters and occasional phone calls to their families.

Lucca Mon 29-Jun-20 19:34:40

Hales, you have my absolute sympathy with no “buts” about FaceTime and visits. I totally get your heartache and think you are being marvellous to pursue counselling. Well done !

Nansnet Tue 30-Jun-20 07:34:39

Hales64, I've been on both ends of this scenario. First, many years ago, I was the daughter who moved overseas with my husband and two young children, leaving behind devastated grandparents. They all put on brave faces, but I knew deep down that they were hurting inside.

However, I always remember my parents saying to me that, whilst they'd rather us not be leaving, it was an opportunity not to be missed, and the chance of a better life for my own little family. And we went with their blessing. This was all before the days of Skype/Facetime/etc., so not as easy to keep in touch as it is now. We have been very lucky to have had a good life, and our kids (now grown up), have had experiences that most only dream of. And our parents enjoyed many wonderful holidays with us over the years.

Fast forward about 25 years, and we're now in the position where our grown up children have spread their wings, and both of them live in different countries to us. Our daughter returned to the UK with her partner, and our son and his wife live in Asia, with our little grandchild. I now understand how my parents must've felt all those years ago when we took their only grandchildren away. But, I also understand that they have their own lives to live, and I want them all to have the best life possible. If that means that I can't be a hands-on grandparent, who lives around the corner, popping in everyday, and probably making a nuisance of myself, then so be it. Instead, we try to visit them as often as we can afford, and make special memories with them. I feel proud of what they've achieved, and wouldn't want them to have a lesser life just to please us grandparents.

I know it's hard for you right now, but it's early days, and it will get easier with time. Hopefully, your counselling sessions will help with your depression, which hopefully will be a temporary thing, due to the newness of your current circumstances. Make the most of regular video calls with your son and his family, and take joy in hearing about all their

NotSpaghetti Tue 30-Jun-20 08:36:24

I too have adult children who moved abroad - a daughter with three children who, with her husband, took her family away immediately after Brexit and a son who moved to the USA a few years ago.

I was also that person, as a young woman, who like Nansnet took my family to the other side of the world for new experiences.

Try to see how you have given your son wings - be proud. You have obviously kept your feelings to yourself as much as possible so it is good you are getting help.

I do know what having families leave is like inside. You do have my sympathy here. Now take that support from your counselling and hopefully soon you will find personal and positive ways to be a really great long-distance grandmother as mine was, and I try to be.

I hope in time you are reconciled to this. My thoughts are with you.

Namsnanny Tue 30-Jun-20 10:20:51

Varian do think about the op and not your political slant please. Its disingenuous to hijack a thread in this way, and awkward to plough through as a reader.

Namsnanny Tue 30-Jun-20 10:21:27


henetha Tue 30-Jun-20 10:29:36

I agree, Namsnanny... some never miss an opportunity to ram their opinions down our throat.
Hales64, I am so sorry and can understand how you feel.
Hopefully when this virus is under control you can plan a
a visit to them.

Namsnanny Tue 30-Jun-20 10:30:31

Hales64 ... its heartbreaking for you and very hard to accept.
I hope counselling brings you some peace and hope for the future.
As AGAA4 said be kind to yourself and remember because you gave of yourself to your AC and their family, they have the courage and independence to lead a full life.
Take heart you did well as a parent and gparent flowers

Namsnanny Tue 30-Jun-20 10:33:04


LadyBella Tue 30-Jun-20 10:45:19

Hales64 you don't say why they have moved to Japan. I would feel exactly as you do. However it could be that they don't stay there forever. Many people move overseas and then return so you never know. In the meantime keep constant contact which, these days thankfully, is so easy. And plan a holiday to Japan. I know some people will say let them get on with their lives and, whilst that is good advice, don't be afraid to say how much you miss them. They will understand I'm sure. It is important to say how we feel and I know this from experience. I never had a chance to tell my grandmother how much I loved her and have regretted it ever since. Be open and honest but don't make them feel guilty is the way to go I think.

tammyjo Tue 30-Jun-20 21:03:53

@Hales64 I feel your anguish. My son and family are moving 1,000 miles away in 1 week after living 10 miles or less from us for the last 20 years. We have been a constant presence in our grandchildren's lives since birth. I know in my head it is their choice and I understand their desire for an adventure.

It's my heart that is having a hard time knowing we will not get to see the kids like we always have. Fortunately, I started counseling once we heard the news so that I could learn how to cope with it as the time gets nearer. Hopefully, that will benefit you too.

MamaBear20 Wed 01-Jul-20 18:15:49

Hales It must be very hard having them move so far away, after enjoying such a close relationship with them. It’s good you are still able to have contact, but I know it’s just not the same as seeing them in person. It’s great that your going to talk it out in counseling. In the mean time, it might be helpful to focus on other things to fill your time. Making plans with friends, Picking up a hobby, or doing some volunteer work could help. Also an exercise routine can boost spirits. Above all, be gentle with yourself. Planning a visit to Japan could give you something to look forward to as well. Gentle internet hugs 🤗 if you want them.

BlueBelle Wed 01-Jul-20 18:29:37

It is very very hard for you but you have to try and see this from their prospective they ve obviously taken an opportunity and you have to be happy for them however much it hurts eventually it will become the habit to feel happy for them
my son moved to NZ 24 years ago although he said we are just going for a look round I knew he would never come back and he hasn’t he even has citizenship now but we just have to learn to accept it’s their lives and they have to make the decision of where they will be happiest It took a lot of practice but unless you do you will be very depressed
At one point all my children and grandchildren lived overseas the other two not so far away in Europe but it’s their lives and we can’t have such high expectations of what’s right for us I now have one daughter and two grandkids back in my home town
I can’t afford to go over much and now I m older I don’t really want to do that very very long journey, yes it’s sad but it’s their lives I hope the counselling helps

varian Wed 01-Jul-20 19:12:44

We surely have to ask why so many of our brightest and best have decided to leave this country in the last four years.

There is a reason. The vast majority of highly educated , highly skilled and experience UK citizens in the 25- 50 age group voted to Remain in the EU.

Unfortunately the majority of poorly educated , unskilled older folk, having read the wrong newspapers, voted for this brexit nonsense.

Hence the brexit brain drain.

Foxgloveandroses Sat 04-Jul-20 18:28:26

I feel so sad for you 😔 I hope you have some hope and relief through counseling.

Namsnanny Sat 04-Jul-20 19:48:38

varian .... inappropriate and patronising post, in the wrong place!

nuttynana Sat 04-Jul-20 20:05:57

How dare you use this woman's pain to try to score political points .?
You have no idea why they went. You are unfeeling and patronising and totally off the topic .