We know what it’s like to leave and know what it’s like to be left. Whether it’s your friend moving to a different town (or country), a loved one dying, or packing up for a new job, this is the reality that everyone in the world faces at some point or another. And it’s something that people living overseas are all too familiar with as a regular part of life. It doesn’t matter if you are leaving or if you are the one being left, honestly, it just plain sucks. The comfort and love you feel to the people your are departing with is suddenly gone and you are left scrambling to replace it.
Your life is turned upside down.
You feel abandoned.
The natural inclination is to run away from this. But that’s not the right thing to do. The right thing to do is embrace the tears and give praise where praise is due.
That’s why every year we hold an “Affirmation Cookout” to do just that. It’s an opportunity to affirm those who are leaving in a public place. Being that we live in such close community with these people – we work, we play, we grow together – it would be a disservice to all involved if there wasn’t a time to share a bit about what we all mean to each other.