Dear Miriam,

Over the Christmas holidays, our only daughter told us that she wants to go to Australia with a friend to travel and work. I am devastated Miriam.

She is only in her mid-20s, but has a very good job here, which I think she would be mad to give up, being honest. Our plan would be to give her a site on the farm to build her own home and life here. I think she would be much better off putting her money into bricks and mortar than into an airplane ticket.

Australia is so far away and I’m afraid that she might meet somebody out there and decide to make her life there permanently. What then?

I really don’t want her to go so far away. We’re good old pals and I’d miss her terribly. I think she has figured out that I’m not delighted with her news, but do you think I should tell her how I really feel and ask her to reconsider?

What do you think?

Worried Mother, Munster

Miriam responds

Dear Worried Mother,

You probably don’t want to hear this, but I think the best thing is to support your daughter with her decision.

Naturally you are going to miss her when she does go to Australia and it’s not as if it is just a quick Ryanair flight away. But she has to be allowed to live her own life and I don’t think it would be fair to ask her to stay at home just for your sake.

To be honest, if she did, I think it could lead to resentment down the line that she did not get a chance to pursue a dream when she had the chance to do so. And that in turn might create an emotional chasm that would be a lot harder to bridge than the temporary, physical separation that she is planning with her time in Australia.

I understand that you are afraid that she might decide to settle there permanently. But even if that does happen, it will be because she is happy there. And at the end of the day, isn’t that the most important thing?

Hopefully, though, she will take her year or two out and then return home, refreshed and ready for the next chapter in her life. Thankfully with technology like WhatsApp, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch and there is always the possibility that you can plan a trip to Australia to spend time with her there too. It would be something to look forward to, with a chance to bond in a different way.

I’m sure many parents have felt exactly the same way as you do right now; but we have to let our children spread their wings. And who knows what we might learn about ourselves too in the process? I wish you both the very best of luck.

Reader Writes

Dear Miriam,

I read the recent letter before Christmas about how to support a friend after baby loss and it touched a chord with me as I was that parent also who buried my firstborn son. I got huge help from an organisation called A Little Lifetime Foundation, which has been supporting bereaved parents for 40 years. After a baby dies, A Little Lifetime offer many supports to bereaved parents. These include one to one counselling; a newly bereaved support group; general support group; pregnancy after loss group; concerns with care group; pregnancy support after diagnosis groups; creative workshops; remembrance services and more.

All their services are free of charge. People can call 01-8829030, leave their contact details and a member of the support team will be in contact. Further information is available on

I love your page every week as you help so many.

Kind regards,

Bereaved Mother

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