The Pain of Goodbye
Updated: Nov 7, 2020
June 25th, 2020 By: Ashlee Beasley
I don't know if it's because this overseas move is so overwhelming or because it is all happening in the middle of a Pandemic-- maybe it is some combination of the two. But, I can feel myself beginning to detach from the things I love as I brace for goodbye.
We are coming up on another PCS. It is still six weeks away. I still have six weeks of life to live in a place I love and friendships to soak up however I can. My girls still want to ride bikes on their favorite trail. We still have six Fridays to have pizza and movie nights and six Sundays to spend at our favorite little church. Yet, I feel myself withdrawing from it all.
I have a goal of making sure I cry whenever we PCS. It's proof that I actually lived at the place I was in. It's confirmation that I made it home even knowing it was temporary. I planted roots and let them grow as deep as they wanted, knowing full well I would have to dig them up again.
For me, there is no other way to be a military wife. I refuse to place living on hold until this season of our life is over, my life is happening now.
There is still a part of me that braces for the pain.
After multiple moves, I know just how bad this goodbye will hurt. I know exactly how my heart will break as I watch my kids say goodbye to the people they love. I know that homesick feeling won't take long to pay me a visit as I step onto a plane headed to a place I've never been.
Detaching too soon is a lot like flinching right before a shot. You already know the pain is coming, so there is no point in waiting for it to arrive. Instead, your body naturally tries to avoid it.
We experience so many big moments as military wives. It is only natural to find ourselves doing the same—we brace for impact. Knowing how bad it will sting, we do whatever we can to avoid the pain and we detach.
We detach from our husbands before a deployment, hoping it will ease the goodbye.
We detach from our friends before a move because what's the point in dragging it out.
We detach from our homes and begin to neglect it's care because you'll be gone soon anyway.
We detach from our kids because we're overwhelmed and we can make special memories when life settles down again.
We‘re trying to clean up the mess before the party is even over and all it does is make a hard process longer.
If I keep letting myself detach before it's time, I'm afraid I'll forget how to feel. By forcing myself to stay present, I remain human. My heart stays soft and full of emotion instead of becoming hard and bitter.
I don't want to build walls too thick for anyone to get through and I don't want the hard days of this life to keep me from feeling anything at all.
I don't want to become angry and stuck in all the things that should've been and the "only ifs".
I don't want to grow so afraid of the pain that I stop living.
So, I'll keep going for the walks on the trail even though it's hard to accept it will soon be the last time.
I will keep ordering Friday night Pizza as we snuggle on the couch even though it will be hard to leave the walls that have seen so many sweet memories.
As much as we try to avoid the pain, there is no way around it. We must walk through it.
I'm so thankful that God meets us right in the middle of that pain and holds us through the heartbreak.
I will hold onto Him and trust His perfect plans so that my heart remains joyful and open to the next thing He has for me.
Because I will live fully again. I will see God's goodness in the next duty station as He makes a place for me.
I pray I never let anything stop that.