Take our user survey here!

All in the Family: Starting the Journey

Sometimes doing the right thing ends up being the right thing for everyone.

By 4 min read 6

After my father in law passed away, my husband and I moved in with my mother in law and little brother in law. I knew it was the right thing to do, but it certainly wasn’t the easiest thing to do. My husband and I had great jobs and our own apartment right in the heart of Osaka. My husband had a band and we both had many friends. We were typical independent young adults.

It was easy to say that we would give it all up for our family. They were in pain and were overwhelmed with all the bureaucracy and family politics. It wasn’t some form of martyrdom that we were seeking. We just wanted to do the right thing for our family and to make sure that they were ok. It was the easiest decision to make because it was only thing that made sense. However, the long term effect it has had on our lives has not been easy. We have had to deal with a lot of difficulties, but the journey has been worth it. The first difficulty was actually starting the journey.

Communicate with Employers

First, we had to notify our employers. We gave ourselves and our employers a month to prepare. It was generous considering the typical 2-week notice that some individuals give, but we valued our employers. They had been understanding and supportive through such a difficult time, and we didn’t want to burn any bridges. In fact, I was sought out by my former company when they had a position open up near my husband’s hometown.

During those weeks, we tried to make the transition easier for ourselves and our employers. We trained replacements, organised all of our paperwork, and wrote instructions for things we knew our replacements would need to know. On the weekends, we commuted to the family home and tried to help our family deal with all the post-funeral issues, legal paperwork, and general grief.

Minimize the Clutter

Trying to balance both worlds was quite overwhelming. Moving was even more overwhelming. I hate moving. I’m a packrat, so moving always means I have to face that embarrassing side of myself. Moving means that I have to confront the epic piles of clutter and throw most of it out. It’s always depressing for me. As I pick up a handful of ticket stubs, I don’t see it as clutter. I see it as a handful of active tickets to memory lane.

As I fondly reflect on my adventures, it’s always so difficult to throw away the evidence of them. Over time, I have limited my clutter by taking pictures of such items and throwing away the originals in all but special cases. However, at the time, I was still quite a hoarder.


The Move

Luckily, the moving company that we decided on also had a packing service. There are many moving companies with many types of services, so it’s really up to you and your budget. While we organised and boxed up a few items, it was really helpful to have the movers pack up our clothes and other things that were already sorted.

With everything packed and loaded into a large truck, we made our move to the countryside over an hour and a half outside of the city. Sure, we could visit the city on the weekends, but that would be limited to whether we had the time or the money. In the early days of our move, we were jobless and didn’t have transportation, so visits to Osaka were minimal. For a while, our lives were limited to our small town in Mie.

Keep Optimistic and Adapt

That didn’t mean that we were doomed. The great part about life is that people can always adapt. Though it wasn’t easy, we got new jobs. In fact, the jobs were better than the ones we had in Osaka. We inherited the large historic family home and renovated it, keeping the historic parts so that it could still maintain its place on the walking tour of our town.

The house has a courtyard with a garden and a nice deck for having BBQs. We even have two dogs that we rescued. None of this would have been possible without moving to be with our family. Sometimes doing the right thing ends up being the right thing for everyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA - Privacy Policy - Terms of Service



Cooking Without Kanji

Living abroad and learning to cook with local ingredients.

By 1 min read 7


All in the Family: Till Death Do Us…Together

Attending a Japanese funeral affords a deep insight into Japanese culture.

By 5 min read 12


The Honesty and Facade of Honne and Tatemae

What they say and what they mean are not always the same.

By 4 min read 24