This Is Why I Disappeared – A Personal Update

I’m currently at home in Ireland but I wish it were in better circumstances. And I wish I hadn’t had to fight with immigration to get here.

This is why you haven’t heard from me in a while, and what’s currently happening.

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The week before Christmas my father was rushed to hospital. He had lost weight, was low on energy, and was bleeding internally.

He underwent various tests and, unfortunately, the diagnosis was not a good one. He’s suffering from a life-threatening disease that will see his health gradually deteriorate.

Right now, his medical team have managed to stop the bleeding, and the medication he’s on means he’s comfortable so, apart from regular check-ups and further testing, he can stay at home.

At some point in the future, though, an organ transplant will be required to save his life.

As well as that, the condition is a genetic one and, while further tests are required, initial indications would suggest I may have it too. It’s quite possible I don’t, but blood tests have returned abnormal results, so something is definitely wrong.

Long-time followers will know that for the past few years I’ve been suffering with chronic pain that, as yet, no doctor has been able to diagnose, and has landed me in the hospital on more than one occasion.

I’ve undergone numerous tests, scans, scopes, courses of medication, X-rays, and even surgery over the years to try pinpoint the cause. Each and every time, the pain came back.

Maybe now, finally, I’ll have an answer.

Emergency department

On top of all that, my uncle was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer a few months ago. While he was initially able to move around and carry on a relatively normal life, his condition deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks and he passed away peacefully a few days ago.

His is the first family funeral I’ve missed.

Because I have a green card pending with US immigration, I was temporarily banned from leaving the country.

But when all this happened I put in a request to travel home for humanitarian reasons, followed by supporting documentation in the form of letters from my father’s hospital and my uncle’s hospice.

When it became clear I wasn’t going to receive a response on time, I called and requested an emergency in-person interview.

To cut a long story short, despite giving me a 9.15am appointment, I didn’t receive my travel document until just before 3pm. For 6 hours I sat in a waiting room, mentally watching each and every flight that would have got me home on time for my uncle’s funeral the following day taking off.

I was devastated.

(In fact, I’m pretty sure that what finally swung my application being accepted was the massive emotional breakdown I had in the immigration office. It was a full-on ugly cry, and I’m so grateful to the Asian couple who came over to comfort me.)

Sunrise over Dublin airport

But I’m home. Finally. I can’t tell you how comforting it is to be back on Irish soil, and to see my family again. To hug my father and be able to visit my uncle’s grave.

It’s been a very stressful few weeks and I know you’ll understand why I had to take a sudden and immediate step back from content creation. I’ll definitely be back to it in the coming weeks but, for now, I need to concentrate on myself and my family.

While I know I’ve kept all this quiet until now, I want to thank each and every person who reached out to me via email, message, or DM to ask how I was and if everything was OK. You (and that lovely Asian couple) are the reason I still have hope that we can all treat each other like humans, and not just another number on an application form.

Thank you for your patience and your grace while I re-adjust to my new reality.

And remember to cherish your loved ones and look after your health.

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212 Comments

  1. Prayers for all

    • Thank you so much, Rita.

    • Thinking of you Laura, love to you and your Dad, and my condolences for the loss of your uncle. Wish I could be a support to you, like you have been to me.

    • Prayers for you and your family.take
      Your time we will wait family comes first hugs to you. We all have things we have to deal with at times we understand that you need this time.

    • Laura, I read this for the first time 2 days ago. I tried to write a comment at that time but the words came out wrong or wouldn’t come out at all because my heart is so broken for you.

      If I said everything I want to say this would probably be the length of a chapter in a book. So I will try to keep it short and to the point.

      First of all, I want to apologize to you for our crappy immigration policies. I’m humiliated by the way the government treated someone who is trying to become a citizen of our country.

      I’m so very sorry for yours and your family’s loss of your uncle. It saddens me that you couldn’t be there for his funeral. I can’t imagine how hard it was not being there with him in his final days and with your family as they laid him to rest.

      Positive energies to your father and your family as he endures this terrible disease. I will start an anonymous prayer chain on my Facebook timeline that an organ becomes available sooner than later. I’m not religious, but prayer is positive energy and I believe in the power of both. Also, having lost a child who was a donor I know the sorrow and pain on both sides, so this has affected me deeply.

      As for you, Sam, Scout, and your family, regarding your health, I will be sending an endless stream of positive energies and healing vibes.

      You have helped me so much more than you will ever know in the past 6 months. You were the light I needed to help me through the darkness. I will never be able to thank you enough, but in this small way, I can show you some gratitude.

      You are a bright, wonderful, talented, funny, amazing young woman and mom. The world is a better place with you in it.

      They may have FINALLY found the answer to the cause of the physical pain, (mental and emotional, too) you’ve been suffering. As hard of a pill as that is to swallow, just remember that that, in itself is such a positive thing, Laura!!

      I’m with you in heart and spirit every day. All my love, my friend.

      Bonny

      • Bonny, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support and your kindness. It was a very difficult time but we’re coming out the other side of it now. They discovered that my father’s illness was actually caused by ANOTHER underlying illness. Now that they have an accurate diagnosis they can better treat it so we may be able to avoid an organ transplant.

        As for me, nothing has progressed yet because of the pandemic. I’m waiting until it blows over until I go back to my doctor to see if further testing is necessary.

    • I think I understand some of what you feel. You are in our prayers for all of the obvious reasons. I pray also for your health and peace.
      Recently my ex-husband, who is the father of my son, pass away while I was out of the country and I couldn’t get back in time to be with my son. I missed the passing and I wasn’t there for my son. I can tell you how much that has hurt.
      We pray for your health, your father, and for your uncle’s peace

  2. We will be here when you are able to come back. Having time you can recognize as precious is a painful gift. I will hold you and your family in my heart.

  3. You have my sincerest condolences. MY heart is with you and your family.May the blessing of shared love help you all heal. Diane

  4. I am sorry you must go through this. Laura, hope you will get your s**t together soon and all will end well. Remember, when it seem it has no good end, it is not the end yet. Take care of yourself and your family as much as you can.

  5. Oh, you dear thing! I want to give you a big hug and tell you that it will all be ok. As a new subscriber/reader, I wasn’t sure if there was a problem, or that you just had an irregular posting schedule. I’m so glad you took time to think of us. Now go back to your family, love on them, and we’ll take care of ourselves for now. Come back when it feels right. Sending tons of love.

  6. Oh, that is so much at once. You and your family always come first. I’m sorry I didn’t notice you had taken a break as I was dealing with my own personal issues. I do hope that the best for you and your family.

  7. I am so sorry that you are going through such a tough time. I am glad that you realize how much for readers care about you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Laura, I am so sorry for your loss, and for your many difficulties of recent days. I am ashamed of our immigration “services” and how they treated you. I wish you strength and courage in the coming days. Know that there are many people like me who are praying for your health and return to normal. May all our love raise you up and help you return to health and happiness.

  9. I’m so sorry. Think of you, and hoping for brighter days ahead!

  10. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

  11. I’m so sorry, Laura.
    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. ❤️

  12. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. I pray you have strength to see it through and to take care of yourself as well as your family.

  13. I’m really sorry that you are going through a tough time. I’m sending you and your family good vibes. ❤️

  14. Oh Laura , I wish I could hug you right now. May grace give you peace . Will be praying for you and your loved ones ♥️

  15. I am sooooooo sorry, Laura. My father is looking at the end and I, too, will probably go the same *horrific* way. ‘It’s hard’ is an understatement. I am glad you have your family and the Irish soil (and healthcare!) :). BIG HUGS TO YOU. We are all rooting for you.

  16. I’m truly sorry. For your loss and for the immense trouble and stress you’re going through. You and your family are in my prayers.

  17. Laura, I’m a fairly new follower of yours. I just wanted to let you know that I’m sorry you ran into our horrid immigration bureaucracy. One of my family members is here on a green card too. It’s often fairly pleasant, but then there’s the other side of things. I’m so sorry you missed your uncle’s funeral. That’s a loss of family time you should have had. I’m glad you can be home with family now. I hope you find answers about your health. And I hope your dad can recover his health too. Sending warm wish to you and your family. Indeed, most f the human race is sweet and kind…but not necessarily easily found in some settings. I’m glad you’ve found that here in this community you’ve gathered round you.

    • Thank you, Yvonne. It’s an unfortunate system but, as you say, I have plenty of support around me, even in the kindness of complete strangers, and I’m so incredibly grateful for that.

  18. So sorry your all going through this. What a frightening and sad time all at once. I’m glad you made it home. I hope your dad gets all the medical help he needs to get better.
    I lost my mum unexpectedly last year and my dad in 99 and you couldn’t be more right about cherishing your loved ones while you can, I really wish I’d done it before it was too late.
    ❤️ Followers will still be there when you’re ready x

  19. You are a great example by putting your health and family first. ❤️❤️❤️

    • It’s not always reflected in my daily actions, sadly (I tend to focus a lot on work) but when the chips are down, I will drop everything in a heartbeat to be there for my family.

  20. Laura, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope your father’s condition stabilizes, and he has a successful transplant when the time comes. I also hope that his journey gets your doctors on the right path for your healing. We’ll be here when you are ready. Grieve as you need to. ❤️

    • Thank you so much, Elizabeth. We finally got some answers. Not the best, but could have been so much worse, so we’re grateful for that, at least. All hanging in there!

  21. God keep you and your family in His care

  22. Laura,Thank you for sharing. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Take good care. You’re truly a gift.

  23. Hi Laura. I hope you and your family have peace in these hard moments. You’ll be on my prayers.

  24. I live in the UK with my wife and all my family is back in California. I know the fear and heartache that comes with every missed moment – I totally get it. I’m glad you’ve been able to come back to Ireland and be there for/with your dad. Family is so important and as ex-pats we appreciate those moments all the more. Sending thoughts of love and positivity.

    • Thank you, Debbie. It’s definitely tough being away from home, especially when “red tape” prevents you from traveling back. But I got there in the end!

  25. Family and life are far more important than social media. You take all the time you and your family needs. You are there when our lives need you and we will be there for you when you return to your new norm whatever that will be.

  26. Sorry all this is happening, and then all at once. You are doing the best you can, sounds like. Blessings, Laura and looking forward to things stabilizing for you.

  27. Take the time you need, life can be hard and sometimes you need to switch your goals around to meet the priorities at hand. All the content in the world is meaningless if it means sacrificing your physical, mental or emotional health. It’s meaningless if the big picture, family and friends, is sacrificed. Go, do what needs to be done. We will be here upon your return. In the meantime, you and your family are in our thoughts and hearts. Take care.

    • Thank you, Suzi. Family is so important to me, and I’m so grateful I have a job where I can easily drop everything to be with them. And for all your support. It truly means a lot.

  28. Sending you hugs and sincere condolences. This is tough but you are made of tough stuff, hopefully things will improve.

  29. I’m sorry for your current hardships. Hard definitely describes dealing with family illnesses and deaths. I’m so sorry for the loss of your uncle.

    I hope that you will finally get answers for yoiyr own health. Lack of answers with continued pain would be scary and frustrating to me.

    I really appreciate the videos you have on YouTube. I’ve found you fairly recently and love your accent, your Irish-ness, your energy and of course, your content. Please take care of your family and yourself. We will be patiently waiting and sending prayers in the meantime!

  30. Bless you and your family! I only recently found you and had no idea about all you had been going through. Yes, you will be missed for the time being but please take care of your family and yourself first. We will all still be here! I suffer with some health issues and a lot of pain so, I understand.

  31. Darcy Canevari-Hill

    So that explains where you’ve been.
    Life has its way of getting in our way of life.
    It hasn’t gotten any easier the older I get.
    So sorry for your troubles. You are not alone.
    It’s nice to KNOW you were sorely missed.

  32. No one should have to deal with the turmoil you’ve been in. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Uncle, your father’s diagnosis, and the potential medical crisis hanging over your head. You and your family are in my prayers. Hugs to you.

  33. I’m really sorry that you are going through a tough time right now. I’m sending good vibes to you and your family. Lovely pic of you and your Dad!

  34. One of the lessons you share in GYST is knowing how to prioritize so that you use your time most wisely. By taking this time to be with family, you have set a perfect example of this concept. Family is always a top priority! I’m sorry for the loss of your uncle. And I hope and pray for the best possible outcome for your father and yourself.

  35. Sweet Laura, I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the heartbreak you’re feeling. I pray for you and your Dad’s health and healing. I pray for your peace of mind that we will all be waiting patiently for you when you are ready to return.
    Mona from California

  36. Bless you all. Recalibrate.Wiggle your toes in Irish grass or sand.
    Take care.

  37. So sorry to hear all that you’ve been going through Laura. Through your wonderful videos you have been popping up in my living room for many a long while. Sending you and your family love and (((hugs))) xxx

  38. Glad you are in Ireland.
    Beannachtaí duit.

  39. Oh Laura, I feel devastated for you. That awful waiting room. The anger and frustration of it all. My heartfelt thoughts are truly with you and your whole family. Many comforting hugs here for you.

  40. So sorry to hear about the loss of your uncle and that your dad is sick. I lost my Grandma last week so I know it can be difficult. I can’t imagine having to fight simply to be able to go to a funeral that is horrible. *hugs* praying for you and your family at this time.

  41. So sorry for your loss and your father’s illness. I am glad you got home to spend time with your family, bless you all and don’t worry about us, we will be here waiting when you are ready. Big hugs xxx

  42. Oh Laura, I’m so sorry! My dad is also not well and is very far away. I’m glad you get to be with yours now. Please do what you can for yourself & know that you are loved.

  43. Dear Laura,
    I discovered your site 6 months ago and have watched a lot of your videos and taken your goals/planning course. Your lovely personality shines through and creates a feeling of community, and your content is so helpful, motivating and transforming. I look forward to your Monday minutes. I am so sorry for all of the health emergencies and worries and the immigration obstacles. I am praying for you and your family and sending lots of love your way.
    Blessings!
    Beth in L. A.

  44. Laura,

    I’ve only recently found your channel and enjoy it immensely. I’m heartbroken that you missed your uncle’s funeral. I’m praying for your father and you. I’m extremely grateful that you are in Ireland, and are with your family. Take care of yourself, and just know that you are a gifted creator with plenty of fans who will be content watching old videos to keep your numbers up until you get back to it! Peace, love, and health!

  45. I know that pain agony of sorting through a mystery illness.
    Please know there are people all over the world who have been helped and inspired by you. Taking time for yourself and your loved ones is exactly the right thing. All my love.

  46. Praying for you and your family. May medical questions be answered. And when you wish to return to the USA you can do so easily. Take all the time you need, real fans will stick around.

  47. I am so sorry to see you in so much grief and worry. Let me send my best wishes, love, light, strength, courage and hope to you and your loved ones. Big hug, Elisabeth from Vienna, Austria

  48. You have been a positive force for change in my life this past year. I haven’t had nearly the burden to carry that you have. Thank you for opening up about everything. I hope your newfound knowledge leads to peace in your life. Take care – we’re rooting for you.

  49. Hi Laura, I am truly sorry about your dad. I am a believer in Chiropractic care. If there is a problem with the central nervous system, likebyour spine being out alignment that can cause all kinds of pain and health problems. Maybe when you get back you n seek out a corrective Chiropractor in your area for an assessment. Groupon has some specs as LS. As also check on this man on YouTube, Dr. John Bergman, he is great. I have learned a lot f th on him. It was because of him that I looked for a corrective chiropractor in my area. It has done wonders for my health. It doesn’t hurt to try. I hope it helps you. I really love your videos.

    Love and best wishes, Ash.

  50. Sending you my biggest hug. Health is the most important thing of all.

  51. I am so sorry for such a hard journey recently. Will definitely be praying for you and your family.

  52. Why is it that the shit of life always piles up at once?! Thank you for taking the time to update us all, and I’m sending love and light to you and your family while you’re all going through it all of this tough stuff. Whenever you have the mental space to come back here we’ll be waiting – for now, though, be kind to yourself and take care of yourself and everyone around you.

  53. Oh no, I’m so sorry all of that is happening. And that immigration is the horrible crap shoot it is, currently. Wishing you the best and looking forward to seeing your new videos when you are good and ready. Big hugs.

  54. You have my heartfelt sympathy. The combination of serious family health issues with untimely delays had to be the stuff of nightmares! The lovely Asian couple reinstates that good kind compassion still exists, bravo to them. Your following fans will be concerned and sending you the best wishes for 2020 and that this stressful time will morph into much better times ahead! Take care and know that others are rooting for you!! Hang in there! Hugs!!

    • Yes, they were such a lovely couple. I was truly touched by their concern and willingness to help and comfort a complete stranger. There are still so many good people in the world. It gives me hope! Thank you, Robin.

  55. I am so so sorry to hear. What an awfully stressful and sad time. Please take as much time as you need, we’ll be here when you get back. Send much love and hugs to you and your family. Xoxoxox

  56. I’m so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your Dad. Hugs!

      • I can’t believe how gracious you are to share this post with us out of your time in agony. I go off and on of you from time to time from my own busyness and schedule. I will always count on you and whatever you have created because you have given me the absolute most motivation and concrete help out of all the sources that I seek through the internet. I’m not exaggerating. I wish you well. Beyond well. I will like to see how you fare on with all these challenges. I don’t want to be selfish. I want you to be happy and I want to know that you’re alive in the world and happy. If you don’t ever create one more thing for us here on YouTube or the internet, you will have created so many things that have helped so many people, and their generations to come. Anyway, I’m glad the Asian couple was there for you. Sometimes you have to break all the way down in order to go forward. Sounds like you had a good go at the cry. And now, here you go with the tough work ahead of you. “Let’s go!” ♥️♥️

        • That’s so, so lovely of you. I truly appreciate your kind words. I can’t tell you how much they mean to me. It was a very difficult time but we’re over the worst of it now, thankfully.

  57. My prayers are with you and your family.

  58. You take care of you and your family. We will be here praying for you. Enjoy your time with the ones you love ❤️

  59. You and your family have my prayers for improved health and the courage and strength to continue on your life journey.

  60. My prayers go out to you and your family. Hug them closely everyday.

  61. God Bless you and your family Laura. I’m so sorry you had such a hard time getting back to Ireland to be with your family. I hope you can finally get some answers and help for your pain.

  62. So sorry you were not treated better. Sending prayers for healing, patience and future travel mercies.

  63. I’m so very sorry you’ve had to go through this. Take as much time as you need and blessings and peace to you and your family during this difficult time .

  64. God bless you and your family sending you hugs and we’ll wishes from Ontario Canada❤️

  65. Gillian Taylor-Carr

    So sorry for all you’re going through. Much love, take care. Xx

  66. Words aren’t enough at times like these, so please know I’m sending big hugs, and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  67. As someone who has had to accept unexpected medical diagnoses regarding both of my parents and essentially had my world turned upside down and inside out twice, I empathize with you. I am truly sorry the the Immigration process isn’t more user friendly here in the US. My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your uncle. I will keep you & your family in my heart. Take all the time you need to take care of yourself, your family, grieve, and adjust to your new normal. We will be waiting until YOU are ready to return. Your well-being comes first.

  68. Oh I am so very sorry for your loss and will keep you and your dad in my prayers.

  69. Hi Laura,
    I have only been watching your videos for a short while but love your sence of humor and down to earth approach to life.
    I am so sorry to hear of the difficulties that you find yourself going through, especially being away and trying to get home and i can only imagine how that affected your stress levels.
    I lost my daughter this year it is the most difficult thing I have ever gone through or I should say am going through!!!.
    I feel your pain, the support of family and friends will help you through this. I rarely post comments but on the couple of times I did I was touched by the genuine warmth, care and kindness from people I have never met. Knowing people genuinely care is a great consolation.
    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Take all the time you need as that is the most important thing for you right now and every thing else can wait.
    One last thing, is that your voice I hear on Rte? I cant remember what the add is for lol but sounds like you. Well done.
    Love from Ireland
    Mary

    • Hi Mary. My deepest condolences for your loss. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. I’m so glad you have kind, supportive people around you. May they fill you with love and strength, and may your heart and mind be flooded with wonderful, happy memories.

      Not me on RTE, no. Maybe someday!

  70. Fek Laura!! I hope things smooth out soon. Sending love (and enlightenment to your medical team, as well as your Da’s)

    Xxx

  71. Take all the time you need. We’ll hold you and your family in our hearts during this time and hold this space for you for whenever you’re ready to return. Thank you for sharing your story. Even in this hard time, you are modeling how to get the right sh*t done and sharing that the best of humanity is connecting and helping others. Thank you. <3

  72. My prayers are with you. I’m sorry you are going through such a difficult time right now.

  73. Love and blessings to your family during this difficult time

    “If God sends you down a stony path,
    may he give you strong shoes”

  74. Catherine Inez Kirby

    You and all your family are in my prayers. Please don’t worry about creating content right now. Just enjoy Ireland and your family as much as you can. Cry because that is how we heal. Laugh because that is another way we heal. Do whatever you need to do! Nothing but love for you! No response necessary.

  75. U.S. Immigration policy needs reformed and humanized. In the meantime I am praying for you and your family. May you soon have the answers you need. Love and light to you and yours.

  76. Sending prayers for you and your family.

  77. Big love to you. We’ll be waiting for when your videos return, but until then, take your time ❤️

  78. I’m sorry for your loss, Laura. Life can be so difficult when the season of shit is upon us. I hope your doctors find clarity for you soon. As someone who has a loved one with a chronic , painful disease, I know things can be day by day. I hope your father is having a good day today..

    • We’re very lucky that, despite the disease, he’s not in any major pain and, overall, is in good spirits. Very fearful of what the future holds, though. 🙁

      • I’m so happy to hear that your father is not currently experiencing pain. And i very much understand your anxiety about the future. There’s so much tension and fear between chronic illness and the future. I share that with you, Laura, although the details for each of us may be different. I will hold you and your father in my heart and thoughts. Wishing you much peace,
        Susan

  79. My word for 2020 is Selfcare. If you do not take time to help yourself, you can’t help others. Take all the time you need!

  80. Laura what a heartbreaking ordeal, I’m so happy ypu are back with family for now, peace to you.

  81. So sorry to hear this, Laura. Am glad you got home in the end, but I am sorry that it was such an agonising wait and that you missed your Uncle’s funeral. Thinking of you as you deal with many hard things at once. May you be comforted by the knowledge that so many are sending you condolences for the loss of your Uncle and the very best of good wishes for both you and your Dad.
    Love and hugs from Belfast,
    Anne
    xx

  82. I am so sorry to hear about all that is going on. Will be keeping you in my prayers and look forward to your return.

  83. Sometimes life really throws spanners at you. Sending lots of love from Sydney Australia xo

  84. I’m so sorry for the loss of your uncle and that you are experiencing such additional stress. I sincerely hope that all comes well with your Da and yourself as quickly as possible xx

  85. I can’t believe how gracious you are to share this post with us out of your time in agony. I go off and on of you from time to time from my own busyness and schedule. I will always count on you and whatever you have created because you have given me the absolute most motivation and concrete help out of all the sources that I seek through the internet. I’m not exaggerating. I wish you beyond well. I want you to be happy. You have created so many things that have helped so many people, and their generations to come. I feel like I’ve come to know you a bit. And you are a wonderful person. Anyway, I’m glad the Asian couple was there for you. Sometimes you have to break all the way down in order to go forward. Sounds like you had a good go at the cry. And now, here you go with the tough work ahead of you. “Let’s go!” ♥️♥️

  86. What a colossal load to have dumped on you all at once. I’m sincerely hoping things are coming together a little bit or that they will start coming together for your good very very soon. ❤️

    • Thank you, Natalie. We’re waiting on some test results for my dad. That will give us a better indication of what we’re dealing with. Until then we’re just trying to stay positive and be patient.

  87. So very sorry for your loss and all that you & your family are going through. Remember to take one day at a time. Sending you love & strength.

  88. Eurgh! So much going on. …and the genetics team in Dublin are no picnic to deal with, I know.

    You can do this though. You’re one of the strongest people I’ve encountered.

    Look forward to seeing you online again soon. 😉

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