Immigrants Grieving From Afar

Married couple holding hands showing love, support and care or trust in difficult time, grief or sa

Undocumented immigrants face the very difficult task of grieving from afar.

Mexico Border Photo by Barbara Zandoval (via Unsplash)


Leaving one’s home country for a better life or a better opportunity abroad is a common practice among a lot of people.  People move from place to place, leaving their homes and families behind. Immigrants aren’t often able to consider how the places they leave will change.

For many immigrants that have chosen to move to the United States, reality hits when they lose a loved one back home. Undocumented immigrants often don’t have the possibility of traveling back to visit their homeland. So, when a family member passes away, they have to decide to either grieve from afar  or leave the life they created for themselves in the U.S.

Let’s look at Alma and Catalina, who, due to their immigration status, asked that their surnames not be used.


Alma’s mom passed away when she was only 74 years old. Alma believed she had time to fix her immigration status and be able to go visit her mother in Mexico.

Losing her mother was very difficult for Alma, even when she had the opportunity to see her mom a few months before she passed.

The most difficult thing was not being able to be with her when she was in the hospital.

Alma says she can’t imagine what it is going to be like for her to visit her mother’s resting place, adding that she always remembers her mother and her mom is alive in her heart.

“For me my mom is alive, she always visits me in my dreams. We drink coffee and dance together there,” she says. 

Like Alma, there are many people who have had to grieve their family members from a faraway place.

Mexico Border photo by Max Bohme via Unsplash

Next, we hear from Catalina, who talks about losing her father to a car accident in Mexico. As a dreamer, she couldn’t travel to be with her dad.


“My dad was my best friend, the love of my life,” Catalina says. It was hard to decide to stay in the U.S. when all she wanted was to be there in Mexico with her father. Catalina had to decide between saying a last goodbye to her dad in person or staying in the country where she had created an entire life. She explained that making this choice was truly difficult and heartbreaking for her.

My dad was my best friend, the love of my life.


“I don’t know if I made the right choice,” she says. “To this day, I am glad I stayed because I know that is what he wanted for me. I’m just really sad that I never got to really say goodbye.”

Catalina and Alma’s stories are just a few from the millions of immigrants in the United States: Real people who with the hope of a better life for them and their families leave behind the people they know and love, where a lot of times they never have the opportunity to ever see them again.

Married couple holding hands showing love, support and care or trust in difficult time, grief or sa
Photo via Envato Elements

Culturs Global Multicultural Media

Celebrating Cross-Cultural TCK Identity
© Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.
Verified by MonsterInsights