The bite of the last embrace

What bittersweet days. In my mum's words, it was like being pulled in the tension of waiting for a huge wave to crash. You sit there mutely, knowing it is coming but powerless to stop the drag on your heart as time stretches into impending impact. Knowing the grief will hit all of us hard but in a way perhaps the sheer relief of the waiting to be hit will present itself and we can get on with the job to kicking up to the surface and finding our bearings through the churning water.
We are perched on the edge of the future and I am sitting in the dark before dawn overlooking the lights on the downtown buildings of our new city. I am not in the habit of looking back but to avoid posting about leaving would leave out a huge chunk and the process of disconnecting from our community and life is a normal one that I doubt we will be able to avoid in the future.
The goodbye-bites ate me away over the days to the point that when we had no one else to leave, I literally felt hollow. Seeing the girls choking up and sobbing in their friend's embraces is something no mother really enjoys witnessing, and there were many many tears shed. Maddy was obviously intensely affected - saying goodbye is her undoing it seems. She is particularly sensitive and the agony of emotion was acute to her, heightened by her natural lack of tolerance to anything disliked. She said at one point "Mummy, it is just too sad to be true" while tears coursed down her cheeks. I could see what she meant. Kenzie has a sturdiness to her character but this faltered at the end and when it came to leaving school for the last time, and farewelling her best friend and spending the last moments with my mum, she got caught in the storm. There was a lot of stuff to be done, and without help I could not have achieved what was needed and between Mum having the girls and my bff's busy hands at work, the job was at last complete and I drove out of our home for the last time so grateful for my support structure. I am also deeply thankful to have been able to live in my sheltered clearing in the trees, my simple little home that was never locked, the gift of incredible friendships I have shared there, the cups of tea in the sun on the couch, my baby growing through her first year - from waving newborn tiny fists to crawling with laughter over the lawn, my girls swinging under the cherry blossoms and running down the driveway, the birdsong, the space to heal and dream and paint. My brain drummed the tattoo "I don't want to go, I don't want to go" all the while my arms were wrapped in the last embrace and my legs woodenly walked me to the car, the waves and blown kisses amongst the new batch of fresh tears, the tattoo tapped on. Along my familiar streets and further away from the memories, tap tap tap and the tears just streamed. For an hour. I felt like a wrinkled and shrunk balloon by the time we reached the hotel we were staying at for the night. I lay on the alien bed when Greg took the girls off for a walk, and wrapped myself up in unfamiliar bedclothes, sinking into the silence to try to comprehend the magnitude and reality. I am still numb and my limbs still obey the dull orders sent from my head, but the spark is too wet to strike and I am too waterlogged to fly right now so for the time being am just existing while I wait. To feel alive again.

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