Monday, July 27, 2015

That last hug

Earlier this summer we lost a former colleague and good friend unexpectedly. Death is never easy, but that one was especially bitter because she was so young and we had selfishly enjoyed the luxury of saying "our paths will cross again," as expats are wont to do when we hug each other at the start of each summer. You never know when, but the world is small and we are bound to see each other again.

Until a loss prevents you from getting that last hug.

It has happened again. The Mister and I have faced a lot of loss in the 5 years since we left home and this morning that horrible shock struck again. We woke to a message from Tyler's sister telling us that his sweet Grani Noni had passed away suddenly while we slept.

It's not fair that we went for so many decades with no loss and then when we decide to go off and live our dreams we are haunted by the nightmare of having this goodbye be the last goodbye.

But the goodbyes we say to grandparents are always tinged with a little more love because we truly never know. Tyler and I had rolled the dice with this move to Australia. We have no jobs. We have no income. We weren't coming back for two whole years. In the past two years we've said goodbye from afar to an aunt, an uncle, a friend, and a grandfather. Surely fate would take it easy on us for a little while.

Tomorrow, however, I put Tyler back on a plane to return to the States just 15 days after we arrived Down Under for him to say goodbye in person. God bless credit cards and their airline rewards miles.

Adulthood sucks, y'all. There's no way around it. I am so grateful, though, that one of us is finally going to have some of the peace that comes with getting to grieve while facing the people you love instead of looking at a computer screen. They can sell it as much as they like, but Apple can never replicate the healing that comes from real FaceTime with your Mama when her hug is all that can soothe the ache.

So hug your grannies tight, y'all. And if your grannies aren't around, hug whoever is next to you because there's an expat somewhere in this world that wishes they could have that one last hug and you might as well hug for them.

Vicariously yours,