It has been a month of goodbyes.
It is a grey, drizzly morning as I board the train and roll away from the place I have called home for the past three years, and the people that made it a place I will not forget.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited for this next brilliant, big adventure. But I think I need to spend a moment being sad for what I am leaving behind. This perpetual nomad finds this feeling all too familiar – the specific pang of saying goodbye.
So as I watch the soggy Ontario landscapes peel away, I can’t help but think about the sweet sharp pain of saying goodbye. So if you are leaving something or someone, or if you are spending your Saturday in a cocoon of blankets, maybe linger for a moment, squeeze the person/puppy/pillow beside you and hide from the world just for a moment.
I think I have gone through several “types” of goodbyes over the past weeks…
It’s the kind of heartache you can feel in your bones
One was the sort of goodbye that is impossible to say. That crushing, heartbreaking farewell when the world loses an extraordinary person far too soon; the rare genuine human who was brave and strong, generous and kind. A rare shining star that brought light and warmth to everyone, and who inspired me to be better, to work hard, to be passionate, to give what I have, to build a community of beautiful people, and to care. This is the sort of goodbye that causes my heart to ache and I don’t know when that will go away.
Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love (George Eliot)
There were other goodbyes which made me realize that a piece of my heart is existing outside of my body. People talk about how you don’t really realize how much you care until you have to part, and I feel that so acutely this morning when I had to say goodbye to people I really care about.
Sayonara to the city
I have also said goodbye to places. Ottawa have stolen a piece of my heart, and I must add it to the list of places in the world where I have left bits of my heart. I said goodbye to my apartment that I loved and the perfect neighbourhood where I could walk to a local grocery store, an abundance of coffee shops, my favourite shops, and the river.
In my “farewell tour” where I visited Renfrew County and also spent some time in my home town in southern Ontario. I got to let the familiar landscapes wash over me, bringing up waves of memories I had tucked away for years. In just over a week, I continue my farewell tour and will have to say goodbye to my country, at least for a while. I will miss the wide open spaces, the places I know so well, and the spaces where I grew and changed.
Parting is such sweet sorrow (Shakespeare)
There are a million emotions I have felt during this prolonged leaving process.Yes, I have been a very sad puppy, but I have also got to spend time with some of my favourites. This is definitely one of the best parts of saying goodbye – getting all your best people together, doling out excessive amounts of hugs, and sharing bevies, stories, and laughs. It has been absolutely magical to be surrounded by people I care about. This has made me so grateful for the caring, kind, and generous people I have in my life. It is so hard to leave a groups like this, but I draw comfort from knowing that we will meet again. I mean LONDON, people! COME VISIT! IT IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!
A farewell is necessary before we can meet again, and meeting again after moments or a lifetime is certain for those who are friends (Richard Bach)
So goodbye my dear ones. I can’t wait to hear about all of your grand adventures, and I already am looking forward to seeing your faces again.
2 thoughts on “Saying goodbye”
Dear Jen, I am so moved by your farewell blog. It left me sad and hopeful at the same time. I had no idea that you are such a great writer. Writing has been a dream of mine for years. You have inspired me so much. I felt your every word and lingering thought. You are immensely talented.
Now to the reason for your beautiful blog. Wby are you going to London and for how long? I feel excited for you and whatever lies ahead. I wish you luck, happiness and prosperity.
You go little Dutch girl. You will be great!
With love, Lisette
Hi Lisette! It is great to hear from you and thank you so much for your compliment! I have always loved writing, and there is something really cathartic about putting your thoughts into words – whether online or on paper.
I am moving to London for 4 years (!!!) to do my PhD. I am really excited but also very nervous. It is certainly going to be a grand adventure!