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Goodbyes Are Not Forever

This article was written by:

Cynthia Grguric,

International Psychologist, PhD.
From Expat Echo Dubai


When the time comes to say goodbye and move on, a mixture of emotions emerge. Sadness, relief, stress, fear, can all set in. No doubt it is a stressful time, so be kind and patient with yourself as you try to cope.


Goodbyes however, never dismiss the impact and significance of the memories and relationships made. The impact you, and others, have had on each other during this season will last forever. Memories last forever too.


The leaving process can be overwhelming so break it into manageable pieces. Start with the practical things first. Make a list of the things that need to get done, prioritizing the immediate and upcoming week’s pieces. People may ask to help you. Let them! It relieves your stress and connects them with the process and with you.

On the emotional side…
Grieving the separation from friends acquired and memories made, is an important process for both the leaver and stayer. Some tips to keep in mind when working through the process is the importance, not only for yourself, but for others you are leaving behind. Everyone has different needs and expectations during this closure and transition. Discuss your communication plan and expectations with those you care about and plan to keep in touch with. Be realistic and honest with yourself on what you expect.

Don’t be afraid to ask yourself, friends, children, co-workers what helps make this process easier. Some need to slip out the back, some prefer parties, others one on one time, others personal reflection, or a memento gift to remind them of you, or you of them. Make sure you communicate with each other on what you both need in the leaving process, to avoid hurt feelings or lack of closure on these important relationships.

Things to remember as we transition…
Remind yourself, children, friends that goodbyes are NOT forever. Memories are!
The gifts we bring to one another in a relationship will never fade. These are imprints that will always be in our psyche.
Now, especially in the diverse travel world, there are many opportunities to meet-up again.

Acknowledge your feelings
Acknowledge how others are feeling; friends, family, children, co-workers. No feelings are wrong – they are what they are, hear them and acknowledge them.
Acknowledge and accept the gains and losses, just as you did when you arrived in Dubai. They are what they are, but just acknowledging them and accepting what is, and thus letting go of what cannot be changed, can bring solace.

Special note for children…
Ask what they need – a party, special gift, things they want to say or do for friends they are leaving.
Develop a communication plan with friends – via email, facebook or skype etc.
Take pictures that they can take with them as reminders.
Make a family memory book of your time in Dubai with pictures and special memories.
Lastly, just as you left your last residence and faced the loses and fears of the new and unknowns ahead, do so now. In every grief process is a new beginning. Accepting and embracing both, are important to make solace with your situation.

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