I thought I could tear away the pain of leaving quickly like the swift pain of ripping off a bandage from a wound that needs redressing. But leaving is loss and burying loss suddenly is like digging a too-shallow grave. Leaving means coming to terms with years missed with faces young and old missing the first teeth the first basket of stories of the first love sharing of lives over coffee and good food being excluded from chunks of memories that have no room for you. Missing furry faces gazing trustingly at you never knowing why one day you disappeared. Leaving means starting over trying to shove roots still tender from their last uprooting into new soil hard, unfamiliar and perhaps unforgiving. You wonder how it can happen if it will ever happen. Leaving means feeling that ache of sorrow the ever-rising lump in your throat the tears threatening behind your eyes at kind words special memories anticipating last good-byes. Leaving could mean forever at least for this life and you just don’t know if this might be the case. So leaving is a raw wound that will need to be redressed over and over until one day when you gently lift the bandage corner you see only the scar.