July 14, 2012 by talkaboutyork
I just spent the last hour showing the new owners of our house all those mundane things that people need to know. Like where the boiler is and how the alarm works and how to operate the pool and where the electric meter is hidden.
I had flashbacks of when we were moving in, having the exact same conversation with the people we bought from. Except that they were more organised and had labelled keys and folders with neatly ordered material. I remember how excited we were. How we looked past the Austin Powers-inspired 70s bathroom and olive green carpets. We could see the potential. We imagined our children growing up here, going from toddlers to big boys. And it happened EXACTLY as we imagined it. Except that we’re leaving sooner than we originally planned.
It’s all getting very real.
The goodbyes and ‘last times’ are starting to come thick and fast. Last night was the final village hall quiz that I will go to. We won, which helped the celebrations, but lurking behind the laughter and loud celebratory singing, was the sad feeling that this was the last time I’d be doing this. Here. With these particular people.
One of the people on our team was my son’s teacher. I won’t be seeing her again as she’s not in next week. We hugged and said goodbye. She was the second person that day who had hugged me, wished me well and said goodbye. While I love that they care enough to do that, I hate saying goodbye. I come up with a million different ways of pretending that we are likely to still see them one more time, just so that I can avoid saying that last farewell.
It’s the finality of it. That awkwardness when you both pretend that of course you’ll see each other again, possibly, maybe, one day, but in all likelihood, you won’t. It some how seems rude to just say: well goodbye, nice knowing you and enjoy the rest of your life. But often that is what that ‘well we’ll come and visit’ or ‘pop in when you come back down’ really disguises. There are obviously people I will see again. But there are many more that I won’t. It’s those that are hard to say goodbye to.
While typing this, I looked up at my noticeboard on my office wall, crammed with leaflets and business cards. ‘I won’t be needing any of these things,’ I thought and started taking down the numbers of local babysitters, exercise class timetables, the menu to the local Indian restaurant. It’s another little sloughing away of our current life.
This week is going to be full of goodbyes. I’m bracing myself for them. I’m saying farewell in tiny increments to our house and our stuff and our memories but it’s the final hurdle – saying goodbye to the people who have coloured my life that is going to be the biggest challenge.
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