My friend and her family are moving away. Not just to another city or part of the country, but to a distant continent. The likelihood that I will spend time with them in person again after they leave is very remote.

People try to console when they hear this saying things like “Well, now you will have somewhere to visit”, or “You’ll keep in touch on Facebook”, but these are empty phrases. I don’t want somewhere to visit

I want ten minutes of catching up on the sidewalk at dusk while kids run around on the lawn.
I want to wave hello from our driveways because we are too busy to stop right this minute.
I want to have a glass of wine and admire gardening progress.
I want the option of walking over with a leftover dessert for her three kids to finish off.

Proximity means a lot to me. These friends have been nearby and have been an increasing part of our lives for last six years. It’s hard to let go.

I have avoided blogging because their leaving is so much on my mind. Its hard to be funny when you are sad, and I am very sad. So far I have managed to not cry in front of them. I cry very easily and have spent years controlling it, based on the premise that women lose points in every arena when they cry.

I can only imagine how they must feel saying goodbye each day to someone else – it would be selfish to cry all over them make it about me and my loss. Honestly I am happy for them. The move is much desired and a very good thing. My friend is thrilled, even while she is sad to say goodbye to their life here.

So I do what I can, and offer to help, and keep smiling like they will still be here tomorrow. Even when I know the last tomorrow arrives next week. I still have to figure out how to say goodbye.