Saying goodbye bit by bit every day is damn hard. Every time I look at Kevin, I try to etch his face, his laugh, his smile even deeper on my memory, scared that I might forget the feeling of having him with me. And in a bizarre effort to cope with the situation, I find myself being quite curt with him. But I know he understands because he is a bit snappy too – very unlike Kevin!
It’s 9 days before he leaves, and my heart is getting heavier by the day. And it is such a relief to be alone at times, so that I can just allow the tears to stream down my face, without trying to swallow them or pretend that I’m not sad. It’s getting harder and harder to hide my infinite sadness, because TGS is slowly taking over and I have absolutely no control over it. What is TGS you ask? Let me explain for those of you who don’t yet know:
THE GREAT SADNESS (TGS) he problem with “The Great Sadness” (TGS) is that it unravels all the other sadnesses in your life. So when you cry it is not just about one sadness. You cry for everything you are desperately sad about. Those things that you bury so deep inside yourself that the only thing that can cause these sadnesses to surface is the sudden, uninvited presence of TGS.
It hits you from nowhere. One moment you are visiting with friends, talking about rates and taxes and your ridiculously expensive dentist and the next moment your throat closes up and you can hardly speak. You catch your breath and try to smile but you don’t have any control over the sudden lump in your throat and the tears threatening to jump to your eyes. You give a half-smile, avoid eye contact and quickly excuse yourself, almost running to the bathroom.
You lock the door with a sigh of relief and lean against the cool bathroom wall and then slowly sink to the ground. You say to The Great Sadness: “We don’t have a lot of time, make it quick.” TGS grabs hold of the opportunity and rips through your body like a hurricane. And you sit on the cold bathroom floor, slowly rocking yourself, fighting the urge to break out in loud, ugly sobs. And the tears flow from your eyes without control and you cry silently but uncontrollably on the inside.
For a little while you surrender and give TGS free reign – allowing its quiet, violent sobs to rack through your body. But then you realize that time’s up and you have to go before someone comes looking for you and catches you and TGS together. So you get up, splash cold water on your swollen eyes trying to wipe the black “waterproof” (definitely not tear-proof!) mascara from your cheeks and practice to smile whilst you flush the toilet and wash your hands. You purposefully shrug off The Great Sadness and leave thebathroom with a fake, yet foolproof smile on your face.
The tears are locked up inside of you, until next time…
Kevin and Georgia left for Rustenburg today and although I would have loved to spend every waking moment with him until he walks through those boarding gates, I realize that he has to say farewell to so many people who love him. And because I love him so much, I really wish for all the people who love him too, to say a proper goodbye. They are back on Saturday and Sunday is the big farewell party. I try not to go there in my mind, because I will go even crazier than I already am.
It breaks my heart to see that Georgia’s eyes don’t sparkle like they used to. And although she tries to hide her sadness behind her smile, she can’t hide the fact that her smile doesn’t reach her eyes. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for her. Kevin and Georgia have been inseparable this past year, and they literally saw each other every single day. Their love is young and real and sweet and strong. Both are going to have to face a very tough time without each other. I wish I could keep Georgia here with me, because then I’ll have a connection with Kevin as both of us love him so very much. But she’s going back to Cape Town on the 18th – a double blow to my already aching heart. I have grown to love this sweet child so much – she really is the most wonderful young woman, inside and out. I am so happy that my son loves such a beautiful soul!
I knew this was going to be hard, but I didn’t imagine the sadness to come this strong, this early. I don’t expect anyone to understand. But just believe me when I say the thought of my child leaving the continent of Africa completely breaks my heart…
Sweet Georgia and Kev