Missionary conversations: part 4
Some common grief phenomena experienced by missionaries upon re-entry to their home country
S: . . . so I guess the sense of loss is kind of different to say when we leave Australia. When we left Australia . . . to go overseas because we knew that we would see basically everybody again when got back, but leaving [host country] to come back home, then (pause) really it’s a probably won’t see you again sort of goodbye, . . . I guess that sense of loss in some sense is more acute for me.
J: I heard one other missionary on home leave . . . who felt like a dried up raisin. . . . And I thought that was very, very good—lost juice. You were all there but just dried up.
C: . . . there’s, there’s a real sense of not really belonging, whereas in the place where we worked we had very close friends of many years.
H: . . . you know I get really, excuse the French, but I get pissed off that people are so stupid here [in Australia] and so short-sighted.
A: I think…buying a house and setting up a house sometimes has been a bit overwhelming in seeking to make the right choice
N: [I have] basic struggles with nuts and bolts of getting around and to help the children settle better.
F: . . . just sitting on the verandah and ignoring all the mess inside . . . and the feeling that we were home . . . and the feeling of well-being that that gave me.
From “Back Home: a qualitative study exploring re-entering cross-cultural missionary aid workers’ loss and grief” Published in Omega 59:1 2008-2009