Saying goodbye is just heartbreaking
It is so unbelievably hard to say goodbye.
It’s a pain to your stomach that makes you feel ill, it’s the lump in your throat that wants to choke you and it’s the ache in your eyes because you’d like to cry an ocean.
I know because we’ve just said goodbye to my mom and dad in South Africa as we start our staggered return to Sydney. I’m not sure where will be able to see them again.
On one hand you know that you’ve made the right decision to leave and set up your life somewhere else. You’ve wouldn’t have made the decision lightly to leave everything you know and everything that’s familiar to go somewhere completely unknown and uncertain.
You also know where you’re going this time around, you know where you’ll live. You know where you’re going to buy your staples. Of course there is your adopted family – your circle of friends who have made your new city feel not so lonely.
On the other hand you’re saying goodbye to people you love. People you wish you got to see everyday but you can’t. You’re saying goodbye to the familiar tastes and sights and sounds.
In part I think the difficulty stems from how much you know may change in the time between when you leave and when you see them again. For me the Main heartache is saying goodbye to my children’s grandparents. My heart aches knowing that they will miss seeing your children grow and change. When your kids are little like mine change happens in a matter of weeks. When you’re away from your children’s grandparents due to distance it’s almost certain that a whole chunk of mini-milestones will be missed.
Goodbye to South Africa
When it comes to leaving South Africa and returning to a ‘first world country’ there are a whole lot of ‘comforts’ that you miss:
- being able to eat out all the time because it’s so much cheaper with the exchange rate.
- having family members to babysit your kids so you can have a date night out with your spouse or just have a good sleep.
- not having to wash your own clothes and house (I am amazed that I thought this was normal for so long)
I suppose the solution is to remind yourself that moving elsewhere was the right decision for you and your family and that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages.
And then of course you can be grateful in the knowledge that you’ve made relationships worth missing. Being sad about leaving after a visit is also proof that you have maintained those relationships despite the distance and you can and will continue to nurture them in the way you did before.