Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Every Expat's Worst Nightmare

Getting a phone call in the middle of the night is probably one of the biggest fears for someone living far away.  10 days ago our phone rang at 4 AM.  A's sister called and told us that their father had passed away.  At 62, he had a sudden heart attack.  No one expected it and I think the shock was the only thing that got us through our flight the following day back to the Dominican Republic.  

Having lunch for their 35 year anniversary this year
I know that I'll never forget that phone call, nor will I ever forget arriving at A's parents house at 1:30 in the morning and the way we all felt.  Even though I had only met my father in law a few years ago, I loved him as if he were my own father; he treated me like a daughter and I cannot count the lifetime's worth of memories we shared with him over the last 2 years. 

{A day trip to Saman√°; where we swam and ate way too much fish}
Our trip was very difficult, but at the same time we found so many reasons to smile and to laugh, as we remembered stories and all the funny things he would do and say to us.  I am lucky to not have lost someone this close to me until now, at the age of 26, because death is so so sad, and its so easy to let the grief overcome you.  This is why we are trying our best to be grateful for the time we had with him here on earth.  I am so happy that he was able to see all of his children get married this year, and that we Skyped just the day before he passed away - we were laughing as he was joking with me about my pictures on Instagram. :) 

{Our wedding; April 2013}
We arrived back in Santorini last night and I hate being so far away again.  But what gets me through each day is knowing of the miraculous strength of A's mom and sisters back home and knowing that one day we will be united again.  Death really puts life into perspective, and so as tacky and cliche as it may sound, I will say it anyway: 

your time here is short, make your life one worth living. 


  1. So very sorry.... I've been thinking of you guys and am glad you made it back to Greece safe and sound. Now begins the process of healing and like you said, remembering all the wonderful times together.

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss! I'll pray for healing for you and your family!

  3. I love the way you are going about remembering his life :) I think that's one of the best ways to cope with a sadness like this. It looks like you have a lot of beautiful memories and were blessed to have known such a great guy! And what's even better is that you will know you both got to see and speak to him before he passed on.

  4. Oh this is such an incredibly sad post. You're handling this with such grace and strength. I hope you and your family can hold onto to that whenever you need it most.

  5. i am so so sorry to hear this!! you are right those phone calls are an expats worst nightmare i am so sorry you have to go through this. my thoughts are with you and your family.

  6. I am so sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. It truly is everyone's worst nightmare, but as an expat, getting that phone call is beyond terrible. It's the feeling of not having been there, knowing that you have to pull yourself together, pack a bag, find a last minute flight and somehow get through the flight. Heaven knows it's not easy; my father passed away two years ago. He was in Massachusetts and me in France. That trip was without a doubt the most difficult to get through, and to get over, but I had my husband to lean on, and your husband has you.
    Take your time to grieve and be patient with him; grief comes and goes in waves xoxo

  7. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Praying for your family!