The last couple of days have seen us saying important farewells to family and friends as our time in Salisbury is coming to an end. It is hard to say goodbye - even though leaving is completely our choice, there is still loss and we are grieving.
On Friday, Peter finished his job of 18 years and said goodbye to colleagues, some he had known for that long.
We have had a farewell dinner with close friends who have been an important part of our life in Salisbury. We moved to Salisbury and actually the same neighbourhood at around the same time and met through our children's school. Along the way, we have shared many family moments: school runs, PTA events, camping trips, days out, themed New Years Eve parties where we would all dress up and have fun. As our children grew up, we shared the highs and lows of parenthood. Our paths also crossed professionally and with our hobbies of circle dance, singing and theatre. We have cherished our friendship and we will miss seeing each other often. The loss feels enormous right now.
I also said goodbye to a close counsellor colleague and friend. Another friendship that I valued tremendously and which I will miss.
Today was a very special day spent with our two children by having a meal at the Old Mill in Harnham, a place we used to visit often when the children were little. We had picnics in the park there, by the river, with the odd dip in it! We reminisced about those times, gone all too quickly. It was important to mark our last few days in Salisbury together in this way. Our children were 6 and 4 when we moved to Salisbury and our daughter particularly feels the house holds all her childhood memories so it felt particularly hard for her to say goodbye to it today. Of course, we each take our own memories with us, wherever we go - the memories will not be left behind in the house when we hand the keys over to the next owners. Yet, at the moment, in the grip of feelings of loss and sadness, it is painful to let go and say goodbye... it is difficult to face the continuous passing of time which signifies growing up and growing older. I am grateful for today.
We have received some beautiful, meaningful parting gifts and cards which we will treasure forever.
Whilst painful, these goodbyes are important rituals to go through in order to support our transition and move into the emerging new phase in our lives.