I’ve been talking a lot about emigration. I’ve talked about how we came to the decision to do it, how we got through doing it, and all the flurry of activity. But there’s one thing I haven’t talked about yet, and it’s probably one of the more difficult things people can go through. Whether you’re moving to another city, or another part of the world, you will be leaving people behind. Friends and family will need to be informed, and it isn’t always easy, especially when they have complicated reactions. I’ve done this so many times in my life now, I have a bit of advice for those of you who are moving and wondering how to break the news to those you care about – or deal with it when they don’t respond as you’d like.
It’s important to remember that no one wants to be left behind. Even your most enthusiastic supporters will feel sad. Not because they don’t want you to be happy, but because they will feel your loss more than you will feel theirs. No, I’m not saying that people who move away don’t miss their friends; when you move, everything and everyone is new, it’s a completely fresh experience while those who are left behind still live their normal life, but without you in it. It’s hard and sad for them, and it’s almost like they need to grieve the “normal” friendship you once had. And their reactions may be very similar to the stages of grief as we know them, but first – how do you tell those you care about that you are leaving?