Friday, March 5, 2010

This Career Means a Lot of Goodbyes

This morning we lost another colleague/housemate/friend to the FUTURE to the NEXT STEPS IN LIFE to MOVING ON & MOVING FORWARD to NEW FRIENDS NEW WORK NEW ADVENTURES NEW OPPORTUNITIES.

Our whole household is sad: This morning I told JB our cook that I was going to the office, Goodbye and see you at lunch! And he responded No! Don’t go! Help me block the big gate so D can’t leave forever!

And so me? I started to cry.

Poor, poor, sweet JB awkwardly patted my shoulder, his face looked horrified, he pulled me to the gate, opened it, pushed me out, and said Okay! Please! Go to the office! It’s okay!

I love JB.

At the office, we cut a paper doll out for D and thumb-tacked it up on the wall next to the paper doll for P.

My dear sweet colleague H (WHO IS STILL HERE AND IS NOT LEAVING YET!!!) smiled at me and didn’t make fun of me for crying. H understood. And anyway, it’s a genetic thing. My mom cries too when people leave. I always do. There are photos of me with my cousins from multiple summers, photos taken on the last day at the end of August, when we were leaving the summer house we shared and going home, and in all these photos my cousins look normal and smiley and I am flushed and red eyed and snotty and sad.

I interned in DC for the same NGO I am now working for. I cried when I left.

So I always cry. It’s not a shocker when I am outwardly emotional. But that does not diminish the fact that we are, our household is, sad.

D and I both had rooms with doors that opened up onto the lake and sometimes at night she would sit out on the stairs looking out over the dark expanse of water with a cigarette in her hand, and I would come join her, and we would talk. She spent her last hour before leaving this morning not relaxing, not taking deep breaths, not gazing over the lake, but sitting in her office and pouring over recommendation letters that she had promised to write for several employees but that she hadn’t gotten a chance to write in the hectic madness of handover week. She laughs a lot, and all the time in the office you can randomly hear her laugh from one room or another, even floors away, and you glance at your colleagues, and roll your eyes a little at her, and you laugh, too.


s said...

its indeed difficult to part ways from friends and colleagues,but one can compensate a bit by remaining connected by internet.the distances are only in hearts.people who are distant are at times closer than people nearer but more distant from heart.cheer up

Rachel said...

Thank you! That's sweet.

I feel better now. A lot of people wrote me to cheer up!!! But I'm fine. I just emote.

Your sentiments are lovely, though; and so true! I will remember that. :o)