And in the process of moving from one town to the city, I told friends that I don't say goodbyes. I don't. When I graduated from high school, I knew I was moving over 1000 miles away. I wasn't super close to more than just a couple of people. I knew I didn't have to say goodbye to them because they will always be a part of my life. But other people might get all sentimental and stuff - I just walk away. I knew I wouldn't see those people ever again (well then FB came around and here I am "friends" with people I would never have really considered myself "friends" with in HS - so odd).
And then came college. I knew I was moving 2000 miles away at graduation. Again only a couple of people that I knew I would stay in touch with. So after the ceremony, I just walked home. Didn't say goodbye to anyone then either.
And the same came true after medical school. Again knew I was moving 1000 miles away. Graduated and just walked away from the ceremony. Hung out with a small group of friends that night. And walked away.
Then came the recent move. This time I only moved 90 miles away. So different. I still don't do goodbyes. And this time there is a real chance that I will see some of these people again. But the truth is - this time I am sad to be leaving some great people. How do you say goodbye to friends and colleagues that have been with you through SO much?? The nurses who were there the day I started 7 years ago - who showed me the ropes in the NICU - who let me hang out with them when I was on call? Some of the same nurses who then took care of not one but both of my children when they were born? The nurses who became my mentors and cheerleaders during fellowship. Who willed me to succeed and be better. Who thanked me for being different than the others.
And then the few that I shared with what was going on this past spring? The reason that I looked awful was 1) in part due to the absolute chaos going on in the unit 2) dealing with the death of 4 babies in one week - an extremely rare event 3) but then the few that knew not only was it all of that it was because my "life" had just crumbled. Thankfully reasons 1 and 2 were enough for most people to not question my total change in attitude and usually upbeat self.
Gosh thinking about it brings a sting to my eyes. Those days when a nurse would come to my office and just be there while I cried. Others that would know that I just needed to not be bothered for a few moments and would direct the residents elsewhere so I could.just.breathe.
How do you say goodbye to those people (and so many others that helped me rally and were there when I needed them)? Well if you are me - you don't. I simply said thank you. And the beauty of it all - I won't be 1000 miles away.
So again "thank you"- which doesn't even come close to what some of you reading this deserve. I am excited about the future, but this time I really am sad that it means I had to