Sinking In

Gina Butz grief, transition 0 Comments

It wasn’t until three months into our life overseas that I realized I lived there. Up until then, we had lived in one room in a foreign student dormitory, our two twin beds shoved together, the five suitcases we brought stacked up to the ceiling. We washed dishes in the bathtub. We turned away the maids who came to “clean” …

Waves

Gina Butz grief, transition 0 Comments

We’re not accustomed to this new normal, when leaving this house doesn’t mean enduring 24 hours of traveling hurtling through the air in a pressurized metal tube and landing on the other side of the ocean. Now it means enduring 24 hours in a car and ending up at “home.” On the packing and shopping side, this is a relief, …

Practically Perfect

Gina Butz grief, parenting, transition 0 Comments

“It was practically perfect!” he sobbed. The “it” to which Ethan was referring was life in Asia. Yes, life in the country where pollution levels make LA look clean, where people stared and laughed and spoke at him in a language he could barely understand, where we lived in concrete high rises and fought to stay alive on the lawless …

Do you miss Asia?

Gina Butz culture, grief, transition 0 Comments

People often ask me if I miss living in Asia. I really don’t know how to answer this question, because what comes to mind is the pollution this year that has been so high it’s unmeasurable by the current systems. Obviously I can live without that. I miss friends terribly, but several of them have also left in the last …

Acquainted with grief

Gina Butz grief 0 Comments

This past year, through a variety of means, I have become more acquainted with grief. A song on the radio brings me to tears. A gracious comment from a friend chokes me up. Conversing with a loved one is so precious I get emotional. Pondering all that we have been through this year raises emotion. This reminds me of a …

Stirred

Gina Butz grief, transition 1 Comment

Transition is a bit like someone coming into your life with a giant paint stir stick and swirling it around in your heart. It brings to the surface a whole lot of emotions that might normally stay hidden. If you’ve ever stirred a paint can, you know that vigorous stirring can result in overflow. That’s how we feel these days …

Torn

Gina Butz grief, transition 0 Comments

I am torn. We spent a few days at the beach attending a debrief conference for people from our company who have returned from overseas stints. It was all a bit theoretical for us because we haven’t landed in our “planting” spot yet where we’ll have to try to figure out where to buy food and make friends and tame …

I Miss My Friends

Gina Butz grief 2 Comments

For the first week that I was in the States, I literally did not want to talk to anyone. I had used up all my words, all my social capacity, in the weeks prior to leaving. The introvert in me was crying, “Uncle!” and I couldn’t imagine a day when I would actually want, let alone need, to interact with …