February 17, 2015

Yet another "Au Revoir"

"It isn't fair. It just isn't fair, I know, sweetie!" I keep repeating to my daughter who is desperately clinging onto me, hugging me, her teary face buried deep into my puffy, black parker coat. She cannot see the tears streaming down my face as I hug her back trying to comfort her.

This was two months ago, when her little best friend announced he was moving back home to California. We have been in this situation so many times now, but what do you tell an eleven year old to make her feel better? It is her fourth best buddy to leave in four years. Miraculously, she finds a new soul mate every time she looses one to the other end of the world. We have been doing quite some travelling to keep up with them, if only for a few days' visit. This one will be more difficult.
"It is so far away" she sobs. She's right. A weekend visit might be challenging even for us.

Expat Girl is starting to gather experience in farewells despite her young age. Today she admitted that although she might have waved goodbye to other best friends in the past, this Californian buddy was her soul mate. He made her giggle like nobody else ever has. Nevertheless, she held it together when we saw the family off at the airport this weekend. Surprisingly so did I!

Is it possible that after years of waving your "Au Revoirs", you just get used to that gaping hole that opens in your heart? You let your brain take over before your emotions get the better of you? Because if it were up to our hearts we would still be crying. We know it is the name of the game in Expat circles and we are getting better at it, that does not mean we like it. However as Anais Nin put it so nicely: "Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."

Therefore, we are grateful for the close friendships we forged over the years because it is not what we have lost but what we have gained by crossing paths with the people who will forever have a special place in our hearts.


  1. Tears in my eyes Ingrid. No I don't think we ever get used to it. Maybe we learn to accept that goodbyes are part of life but I haven't figured out yet whether that is a good thing to practice so often so early in life ... but I know you are doing a good job at cherishing the new worlds all your friends help you create.
    Big hug to both of you, you are brave and strong xxx

  2. I've been moving around since I was 8... to this day I wish I could get people from everywhere I've ever lived all together in the same place, even if just for a few days, to see them all again. I often miss people more than I miss places.


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