Preparing for a PCS can feel daunting when evaluating how many things you need to accomplish before leaving. Medical visits, paperwork, and final cleaning can all take a toll, not to mention leaving behind the friends you’ve made. Here are a few tips on saying goodbye and nurturing your friendships before you go.
Military friendships have a sense of wonder woven into them. You never know who may come back into your life or move to your duty station five years from now. Take photos, and remember it’s a small world when you’re a military spouse, so never say “Never.” Along those lines, take care not to unnecessarily burn any bridges as you prepare to leave; you may see them again and again at future bases.
There will be those you connect with daily, occasionally, and sometimes never again. Tara, a civilian, encourages you to share what you love about your friendships with your friends. Take a minute to be grateful for their presence in your life, even if only for a moment. There may be base-best-friends you don’t talk to much after you leave, but an occasional phone call will help you pick up right where you left off. There will be other friends you lose touch with over time, and that’s okay. Many will stay Facebook friends, others good friends and a few will become soul friends that feel more like family.
Brooke, an Air Force wife shares, “It is valid not to say an in-person goodbye the day before you leave, and it is normal if the last time you see a friend is three weeks before your move because things get crazy. Those who love you will understand.”
Invite a friend you’d love to see one more time to go for a walk or come over for pizza as you pack. If you don’t have the energy for personal hangouts, or your schedule doesn’t allow for them, you can plan a group going-away dinner at a local restaurant. Spreading goodbyes out or consolidating them can ease the transition, remove frantic stress, and grant you support as you leave.
You never know where life will take you as a military spouse. Remind your friends you love them and enjoy the time you have left with them; whether it’s a brisk walk together around the neighborhood (panicking about hard copy orders taking too long) or eating take-out on the floor of a half-packed house. Find comfort in the digital ways to stay connected and cheer each other on across the miles.
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