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Saying goodbye is always difficult. We come together for a week or a month, and we build something. We breathe our lives into something. Our fears, our secrets, our desires all into this something. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere this thing comes along and shatters our something into tiny pieces. Our something dies.

Every few weeks my lover says goodbye to me and flies home 3,000 miles away. The day he leaves he withdraws several hours prior to his departure. This sweet, sensitive, loving man becomes someone I barely recognize. He seldom looks at me. He doesn’t reach for my hand. I watch how his warm lips turn cold.

If he was available, I would want to say “Stay here where I can hold you close and look into your eyes for a while longer.” But he gets ready to leave before it’s time. And I can’t hold him back because there are others who need him.

So I just sit here and remember that when we met it was a gift, a temporary gift that perhaps we’ll see if one day we can make more permanent. But for now he’s anxious to go and take care of the other hands he needs to hold. He’s been ready ever since his eyes opened this morning. And even if he can’t see it, I can and am helpless to ignore it. I am left feeling profoundly sad. And each time I say goodbye for now, it is in acknowledgement that something has died.

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