A friend left 2 years ago to study overseas and with a plan of ultimately finding a job there. We’ve been friends since high school and even if she studied overseas before, our friendship continued despite the internet being not reliable 10 years ago. We became even closer when she moved back in the Philippines after graduation and landed a job in Manila. We literally lived together as we shared the same apartment, slept on the same bed, and shared so many things. Since we get to live on the same roof for 4 years, we have seen the best and worst of each other but that paved the way to strengthen our bond even more. Our relationship as friends grew stronger as time passed by.
When she decided to go back to Taiwan, I suddenly felt so sad and alone. I never expected it to be so sudden. I was happy for her and even if I was feeling so lonely inside, I tried my best to act that I am alright. For her, leaving means a promising future and I didn’t want to hinder her success, so even if it pained me a lot I encouraged her to grab the opportunity because true friends are happy when you succeed and celebrate it even if it means leaving you behind.
Months ago an office mate surprised most of the people in the office when she rendered her resignation effective June 15th. Although, she kept the real reason behind her resignation to most of our colleagues, she graciously shares to the three of us that she’ll be moving to the US to be with her fiance and get married. Even if she is in another department, we have a lot of memories and became close that she started sharing personal things with me. It means a lot because she is a very private person. It saddened me losing a colleague whom I started to know more personally. Her desk is right behind mine and I am used to greeting her every time I passed by. For her, leaving means she will go after her own happiness and I celebrate this time that she now finds the love of her life.
And suddenly… three people from our team are leaving unexpectedly. The people who are closest and dearest to me are leaving. We are all saddened and even if the management has difficulty doing this, the time has come to finally let go some of the best employees due to recession. The management decided to retrench those who are already at the retiring age and an employee who will soon move overseas to be with her husband. In a month’s time I will be losing a very good manager any employee could ask for, a person who’s not only a colleague but a very good friend I share almost everything about myself, and another one whom I consider a cool Lolo (grandpa) because he’s already past the retiring age yet he is into a lot of sports and even became my freediving buddy. I am grieving just like how I felt when my friend left for overseas. These people have been a part of my wonderful years in the work place. They make work fun that working never felt a burden. I feel like a part of me lose. I am not ready. Just thinking of them leaving brings tears to my eyes. The office would most likely feel empty and laughters will be few. But they have to go…
For our manager and my cool diving buddy, leaving the workplace means the time to enjoy their retirement and spend their golden years finally doing things away from the 9-5 jobs that took most of their time. And for my very good friend, although this came as a complete surprise to us, this I believe is God’s way of preparing her to beautiful things ahead (settling in Canada together with her husband). Truth is, it should have been me instead of her. I should be the one to leave but God’s will for my life is to never leave…yet.
Good bye is bittersweet. Even if we want people to stay in our lives, there will come a time leaving is inevitable not because they want it but because they have to. This may be painful but I am thankful for the memories we shared. I know that everything happens according to God’s plans.
I remember so well this profound line written by Nicholas Sparks and this resonates to me in times like these.
People come, people go— they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures.
I wish them the best of everything and hope that one day I get to see them again in another chapter of my life.