|When Your Family Moves: Saying Goodbye
"The hardest part was leaving all my friends. One of my friends moved the same summer I did to Arizona. We haven't seen each other since. I really miss her!"
"I moved about two years ago. It was really hard for me, especially when I had to say goodbye to my best friends. I was really sad, and angry, and didn't want to move at all."
"My best friend moved to Iowa last year, and we stay in touch. We talk at least once a week on the phone, if not more."
Someone once said: "If endings symbolize beginnings, why are the goodbyes so hard to say?"
Good question. Tearing ourselves away from the people who mean a lot to us is one of the most painful things about moving. Although it's hard not to see your close friends on a daily basis, remember that true friendships can survive the separation of miles. Thanks to technology, it's now easier to stay in touch with people than at any other time in history!
Here are some ideas for making the goodbyes a little easier to say:
- Keep a journal. If you're having trouble dealing with the emotions involved with saying goodbye to a good friend, keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings can help. You can write about anything that comes into your head, from stories about the good times you and your friend have had together, to what you feel when you think about leaving.
- Have a party. Get permission to throw a "goodbye party" to celebrate your friendships. Have a shindig at your home or a friend's, or head out to a local theme park or sporting event. Don't forget to take LOTS of pictures or even video!
- Give a gift. We give gifts at birthdays and major holidays,
so why not give a goodbye gift to a special friend? Find something that has some connection to the things you like to do together, or better yet, make something that's one-of-a-kind. Think about how to show your friend that although you may be far away physically, in your heart you're right
- Make a friendship book. Alone or together with your BFF, make a scrapbook that celebrates your time as friends. Include anything you want, such as: photos, drawings, magazine cut-outs, stubs of movies you saw together, or lyrics to your fave songs. You might want to create two scrapbooks, so that you can each have one when you're separated. Or you could suggest that your friend make a scrapbook to give to you, and you make one to give to him
- Use the phone and the ‘Net. Chances are, you already spend a lot of your time chatting with friends on the phone or through IM's and e-mail. The good news is that these work the same whether you're across the street or across the country! You might want to set a regular weekly "phone date" or "IM chat" with a friend, or promise to keep an "e-mail diary" to each other.
- Send cards and letters. Don't forget good old snail mail! Writing and receiving cards and letters is a lot of fun, and writing lets you express yourself in a way that no other form of communication can match. So fill up your friend's mailbox with letters, and he or she will likely write you back, giving you lots of cool stuff to read. Want to make it easy for your friend? Give her or him a set of stationery before you leave, with your address already written on the envelopes.
You'll meet new friends after you move, but they don't have to replace the ones you left behind. Having friends in different places, experiencing different things, makes life much more interesting!
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