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Merrily Preston
By Merrily Preston
Posted on Oct 31,2008
Filed Under Personal Development , Opinions,

My husband and I are scheduled to go on a once-in-a-lifetime all-expenses-paid trip to London.  My 87-year old grandfather is in failing health and has weeks to live.  What should I do if my grandfather passes while I am overseas?  Should I come back for the funeral?  My husband would not be able to come back early with me. Or, should I "say my goodbyes" before I leave?  We come from a large immediate and extended family. I have a sister in Asia and a brother that will be across the country at the same time that I will be abroad, neither of whom would be able to make the trip back for a funeral.  My dear grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer’s and would not know if I was present.


Dear Help,

What your sister, brother, and husband are able to do and the size of your family are all irrelevant to your decision.  They are distractions.

Say your goodbyes to your grandfather before you leave.  Communicate with your grandmother also, if not in words, then with your heart (her soul always hears you).

This decision is only difficult from the mind, which is why it must come from the heart. Your heart never speaks to you in terms of ‘should’ or ‘have to’.  These words are a clue to breathe more deeply, listen, wait.  The heart’s voice is crystal clear, and may be completely different from your mental perspective.  

Your knowing may come before you embark on your trip or at the moment of the dreaded phone call.  But it will come, if you have asked for it.  

Whatever the decision, you will be able to communicate with both your grandfather (even after his death) and your grandmother whether you are by their sides physically or thousands of miles away.  

Merrily Preston is an Intentional Life Facilitator, who lives in Woodbridge. Her column is exclusive to Local Kicks in Alexandria, VA.  Email questions to or use online form at .

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