No Plan B
Some of our children don’t see themselves as taking a trip of a lifetime when they leave Australia to travel the first, second or even the third time. We are wild and brave humans, fearless and bold when it comes to getting out of here and staying away for long periods. At some juncture, without even noticing it, overnight, some may become a fully paid up citizen of the universe, believing in this awakening, their interests and aspirations are better served on the global stage, deciding these are unlikely to be met in the land of their birth.
I’ve watched many of my friends become these people and simultaneously witnessed the incredible sadness in their parents, as the reality of this permanent loss dawns on them fully and finally.
Yes, I know we must be happy and supportive of our children’s vision, delight in their courage and strength of character to feel capable of leaving, as many do not have that self-determination or resilience to do so. But in truth, selfishly, we must show this feigned delight for them and benevolence towards them like all stoic impossibly generous selfless parents do, in the face of excruciating pain. We paste on smiling facades in order to conceal our tremendous grief and intractable sense of loss.
For those parents in this predicament, it is very likely that when these children leave, which is entirely their choice to do so, Australia and hence we, become where they were born or who bore them, no longer where they live or refer to as home. Letting go of our babies to see them flourish as fully fledged independent humans is hard enough at times but to come to terms with the reality they may NEVER return, never live near us as we and they age, have their own families and live out our parallel adult lives which we may be so lucky to share, preferring only to visit when the old farts get a bit old and might cark it at any moment is desperately sad.
When we will always love them so much, regardless of their age or ours and can barely manage the thought of going a week or two without seeing them, appearing all needy and desperate if we ever make the stupid mistake to ask when we might, knowing we may simply become the mandatory parental unit fly by once or twice a year, is a very bitter pill to swallow indeed.
Alive but choosing not to live long term near you is possibly the greatest loss of them all.
At least in death there is no Plan B.