My husband died, nearly six months ago. It has been a terrible time and I have really struggled to cope. I have a baby boy who is only two years old. I do my best to be strong for him, but recently everything has become overwhelming for me and I feel I am without any support.
I moved here several years ago, my husband was Mauritian and it seemed like a wonderful adventure for us. I have loved living here, but without him, I find it difficult and I am becoming increasingly homesick.
My husband’s family do not want me to move away and are making things hard for me financially, objecting to my wish to sell the home that my husband inherited. When I shared with them that I might move back to France with my son they immediately turned and have done everything in their power to stop me from even thinking about selling the house, which is now legally mine. I seem to have found myself in the middle of a feud and I do not have the strength to fight.
Back home I have a big family and a support network, plus I would be able to rebuild my career and give my son a better life. There are lots of positives. But I cannot help but feeling incredibly guilty and selfish because of the way my husband’s family and friends have reacted towards me. I am not sure my husband would have approved of what I am considering right now. He had always deeply loved the idea that his son was going to grow up here and embrace his Mauritian heritage. I feel lost and I do not know what to do. I am very tired all of the time and beginning to doubt myself.
I welcome another perspective on this.
Thank you for your help,
I am so very sorry to hear that you have lost your husband. Grief is horrendous and affects us all in different ways. By the sounds of it, you have been trying incredibly hard to be strong for your young son, but your own grief is swallowed up in the crisis you find yourself in as to whether to stay or go.
Only you know your experience and what is going to be the best fit for you and for your boy. It reads as though your decision to move back to France would be the best thing for you, for your life moving forwards and ultimately for your son as well. Let me say loud and clear that it is okay for you to make decisions based on what is best for you. There is nothing selfish about wanting to live a life surrounded by a strong support network and a life that gives you choices as to your career path and future needs.
It sounds as though the only factors holding you back is the negative reaction you have received from your husband’s family and friends, in addition to the guilt you feel that your husband’s dream of a life here in Mauritius has gone. The sad reality is that the dream you both shared has gone. You are not responsible to uphold it in legacy to him. You are only responsible for making choices that positively impact both yourself and your son moving forwards, so that in time, you are able to rebuild your life.
It is important to note that just because your son may not grow up here in Mauritius, it does not mean that he rescinds his heritage. You are able to keep his father’s memory alive for him, to tell about this beautiful place, about who his father was, the things that made him laugh and the reasons why you loved him. To visit perhaps, when the time feels right and your son is older.
Another thing to be aware of is that the guilt you feel is a natural and a fundamental part of the grief cycle. You are bound to feel it. But Severine, you have nothing to feel guilty for. It sounds to me that you are doing everything you can to ensure you are taking the right steps in the face of a devastating situation.
You stated yourself that the house, legally is now yours. If you need to sell it in order to finance a move back to France, if it is the best thing for you to do right now, if it is what you want, then remember that it is your legal right and I can well imagine a right that your husband would have supported. It may well be that your husband’s family are grieving in their own way. Anger is, unfortunately, another part of the grief cycle and it may be their manner of handling things right now. Perhaps this is not the case and your relationship with them has always been fraught. You know the truth of your experiencing and ultimately, you have to make the decision that is best for you.
The tiredness that you feel is also an expected part of the grieving process, particularly with the situation you are battling at this time. It may be that you feel strong enough to continue to grieve on your own terms. Be kind to yourself, this only happened six months ago. Your feelings will still be very raw. If you find in time that you are struggling or that you are beginning to feel worse, counselling can help you and is something to consider for the future. I suspect that being around your support network would have a huge impact in conquering your self-doubts and in recharging the incredible courage that you have shown up to now. I would suggest that keeping regular contact with a family member or friend of your own may help you to feel affirmed in your thoughts in the months ahead.
Trust in yourself Severine. Do not allow the angry voices of others to cause you any further doubt. Your decision to move is yours to make and yours alone, with or without the families support.
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