>I’ve never been good at goodbyes.  When I was little I would cry leaving my Grandparents house or if I didn’t get to wave goodbye to my Dad when he left for work.  I got better.  But I would always, always cry when I knew it was a long term “goodbye” be it weeks, months, who knew how long or possibly forever.  The end of a holiday or something I’d look forward too would make me said and I’d cry.  I’d always cry when it came to going to uni for the next term and usually when it came to leaving my friends and carers  at the end of term too.

Even if I was/am really pleased for the person I was saying goodbye too or looking forward to being left to stay with my Gran and Grandad or the next term at uni or whatever I’d be there crying saying “i’m really pleased for you” through my tears.

I remember when a really good friend of mine from uni left I was shocked that I got though the goodbye without crying – and so was my mum when I told her on the phone the next day.  We’ve kept in touch and I knew we would.  But it was a long time until I saw her again and I knew that as we said goodbye that day.  But somehow I didn’t cry.

I still find goodbyes hard though and cry at the tougher ones.

We had a presentation this afternoon to mark the leaving of a volunteer whose been involved in the swimming group for an astounding number of years.  I knew he’d been there a long time but had no idea it was that long.  He’s been a great guy and he’s involved in some other stuff I’m involved in (although I didn’t know him before I joined the swimming group four years ago).  He’s done a lot for me and I will really miss him.  So it was pretty emotional but I was hoping to make it through.

But then I looked at him and he was looking a little emotional.  And turned away to stop him setting me off.  It didn’t work.  I turned and saw the person sat opposite me had eyes full of tears and was dabbing at her eyes wiping them away.

It became a very tearful goodbye for me after all. I was chatting to another friend whilst I was crying about how we will miss him etc and she hugged me and I calmed down.  But then I went up to him as I was leaving  I gave him a hug, thanked him for his help and told him how I appreciate it.  I told him I will miss him.  But all through I had tears streaming down my face.

And I’m still tearful now.

But, emotional though it is and all that jazz, I’m glad we had the chance to honour our friend and show him how much we appreciate and love him.  Even if it took his leaving our group for us to do so.

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