Friday, January 13, 2006

This one is for you

We tried denial but that only worked for a short time. By banning the word goodbye when we last saw you in the pub last night, or at work yesterday, or at our leaving do last week or at your house the other night or outside our house last Sunday, we thought it would be less painful when we eventually turned to walk away.

That however, is a special kind of stupid. Regardless of what lies we tell ourselves the fact is we are moving away from home, from you and from our life here, and it is hurting by degrees.

Ian reported magnificently on our leaving do last Saturday. It was such a wonderful night for lots of reasons, but mainly because you were there. We have thankfully since seen most of you who could not make it, which has been fab. It would have been awful to leave without seeing your beautiful faces one last time.

We have both cried a lot. In some ways these staggered fare thee well's have been slightly easier than an en masse arrangement. It would have been horrendous to walk around a room, with all of you in it, seeing each of you briefly for the last time, and have to deal with the grief of that for only a moment before moving on to the next person.

No, in this way, after each farewell, Ian and I have been able to comfort each other (for we seem to be falling apart alternately which is helpful), and then once the sobbing ceases, are able to recall the stand out memories we have of each of you, find a happy place again, and manage to laugh through the tears.

We have been amazed and humbled at your generosity. You all know who you are and what you have given us leading up to our departure and we so appreciate it. I want to take this opportunity to send you all a heartfelt thank you. We have much to remind us of you all when we are in Melbourne, so please know that you will never be far from our thoughts.

I write this before I have to say farewell to my work colleagues today over lunch, which is probably why I have managed to stay dry-eyed for the duration whilst writing this. On some level I am still in denial. You can tell this by the fact that I have written the G word just once in this whole post.

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