The not-so-long goodbye

In almost a year of living in Shanghai, only recently did I experience my first true initiation into ex-pat life: a good friend moved back home.

I knew it was coming, as she and her husband had alluded to the potential for months. But their final exit came fast, something I know now to be a not-uncommon experience here. Kelli was one of the first people I knew in Shanghai, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that our friendship, our husbands’ friendship, and our kids’ playtime together really gelled. It’s rare when a small child can truly play “with” another kid, and ours were at that point, making their exit from Shanghai even more sad for our family. I know we’ll see each other again, but from here on out the time together will be different.

What was it like for you when a good friend left? Has it happened to you more times than you’d like to count? How do you deal with the loss of a confidant in this crazy ex-pat life?

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