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Partir c' est mourir un peu

Updated on May 11, 2009


Change of work and moving to another home can be very stressful. Not only because of all the things that have to be done, but also because of the goodbyes.


Saying goodbye to your neighbors, colleagues, friends and family and in my case 60 patients I took care of the past five years. One great personality after another, all with their own stories to tell. Splendid people with whom I enjoyed my time and from whom I got the possibility to learn. People, who I could fool once in a while, put a smile on their face or simply conduct a conversation with.


People with whom I played cards with or shuffleboard, danced around the room with or just simply stared at while sitting at the other end of the table and had talks. Talks without words which often were the best conversations. People that I could argue with but also allowed to become friends, just because we trusted and shared with each other. Yes I’m going to miss all those people.


My last day at work was as hard for them as it was for me. I’d never swallowed so many words as I did that day, even swallowed tears, but we tried to have a party. I made pancakes for everyone, we had a beer or something stronger and in the afternoon another drink while watching all the photographs I made the last few years. We talked about the good memories of those who were gone and the fun things we did and told jokes. Yes, even dirty jokes.  I made a CD for all of them, with all the pictures on it and the words I wanted to say to them before I left. We watched it all together. Hand in hand. Goodbyes are not always easy.


Ursula, smaller than me, stretched out and got up out of her wheelchair when I passed her. Even though it was very hard for her to get up with her muscles having spasms. Normally not saying a word, she called out my name and put her arms around my neck. Giving me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. I felt it was hard for her to keep herself on her feet and I slowly helped her back into her chair. Swallowing of course, because hearing her voice was something rare and meant a lot to me that moment.


Jan slowly took some steps backwards with his crutch, looking for a chair against the wall in the corner of the room as far away as possible from every one. From his throat came a heartbreaking sound while he was trying to wipe away the tears. That big man, who always played it tough, started crying his eyes out. And before we knew we were all crying together, cheeks wet and looking for a joke to stop the tears from running or to start tears of laughter to overcome the sad feeling of this goodbye.Goodbyes aren’t easy at all sometimes.



Partir c' est mourir un peu. Yes, I’m going to miss you all.


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    • Lazur profile image

      Lazur 8 years ago from Netherlands

      You're right Candie,. They've said goodbye too many times sometimes. Goodbye to friends, family, their health. And I can feel it when they tell their stories and that makes it hard to leave sometimes.

      But I'm glad to say I'm keeping in touch with them, on the phone and even on the internet. Some sort of a slow goodbye I guess:)

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Working with the elderly is amazing.. they have so many stories to tell (as you said).. It must be hard, too, for them at their age to keep saying goodbye.

    • Lazur profile image

      Lazur 8 years ago from Netherlands

      I won't leave here G-Ma. I wouldn't wanna miss you:D

      And I can say I enjoy my new job here, I'm meeting a lot of new great people like GG-Ma.:D

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      OMG you aren't leaving us here are you? You can't I won't let you! ! !

      Yes goodbyes can be very devistating and difficult but are necessary at times to move on to bigger and better things. I hope all goes well for you and do keep in touch...G-Ma :O) Hugs