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Saying Goodbye

However well you think you are coping with the thought of them going, this will change the minute you start trying to say goodbye.


Saying goodbye and waving them off can be one of the hardest moments to deal with and no matter how many times you have done it, it doesn’t get any easier. Everyone in the whole family is affected by a deployment in their own unique way. Even those who have gone through a deployment before will find each time different because it’s at a different time in their life with a different set of circumstances and a different set of worries.


In the same way that you will imagine the day they come home over and over in your head, you will probably also imagine the day they leave.


Nobody can tell you it will be okay and you will keep it together. You probably won’t. Whether it is your husband, wife, son, daughter, mother, father or friend – it is tough and it’s going to break your heart.  

The key is to try and prepare for it and include everyone in the family.  Spend time with your partner and each child individually so you can answer each other’s questions and let everyone say their own individual goodbyes.


Talk about how you will communicate in order to keep your relationship strong – be honest and flexible (it may not be possible to write everyday!).


Get the names of other people who are staying behind in their unit, both those serving and some of the families. That’s who will have access to information you need and they’ll understand what you are going through. While you'll always have your family and friends to support you, they won't have the same access to information or have the same understanding.


If you have children, it's really important to let them participate in the preparation, saying goodbye, and throughout the deployment. They will all have the same fears and anxieties about this separation. 


Waving them off is one of the hardest things you will do as a Forces family. Expect tears (forget putting on any mascara) and try  to think of it as more of a “see you in a bit” rather than a goodbye.


However, the one (and only) positive things is...... after all those months of them away training, all the nights you have been worrying and dreading about this day, it is finally over with. And at last now start counting down the days until they are home.   





I would just like to say thank you so much for your support over these last few weeks and giving me details on picking my partner up for his R&R.

As you know my water’s broke the day he left, within hours of him leaving I was in the hospital. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl called Alexis. The feeling I had going through me was mixed as I had the upset of him leaving but was overwhelmed with having my beautiful daughter with me. I couldn’t explain how I felt, she was a spitting image of her dad which really made me smile and of course when daddy rung and I told him that he was beaming!

The worry that lay ahead was him not being home for three months, how big would his daughter be then? Would she go to him or would she cry? Would he feel part of it and of course how would he be with dirty nappies! Haha. Well let’s just say all of this was a learning curve.

The three months flew past and finally his R&R came around. All goodies bought and house all tidy for his return. The main thing he wanted me to get in was ice-cream! Every letter leading up to him coming home was have you got me ice-cream in. This really did make me laugh and the excitement going through my body was indescribable. Finally the day arrived and I left to pick him up from Brize Norton, the baby was in a pretty dress, ready to meet her daddy for the first time. Finally the plane arrived in and he walked off and towards Alexis and I. my eyes watered immediately all my dreams had come true finally my family was together. I'll never forget the massive smile he had on his face, it will be a constant image in my head. He ran over and wrapped his arms around us, then took his daughter and gave her the biggest cuddle and kiss. The look of happiness swept across his face and he felt so proud and fatherhood instantly took over him.

The two week flew by; We had a day to the seaside and picnics at the lakes. I couldn’t have been happier. Old routine kicked back in within days and it was like he had never been gone. The house felt full again and like a home. We had professional photos taken of the three of us for him to take back with him and for me to treasure back at home. Seeing him with the baby was amazing, and the smiles she gave him were bigger than I’d ever seen. She knew her daddy was home.

Well today his R&R came to an end; I dropped him back at Brize Norton for the final stage of his tour. 3 ½ months and he’d be home again. Trying to stay strong was so hard, and this goodbye was even harder than the first. I felt as if my heart had been ripped out and again me and princess were on our own, facing everything together and praying for daddy to stay safe and return. The journey home was horrible of course the radio had to play love songs even when I changed channel another would come back on. My eyes were filled with tears the whole way home and all of the day. No matter how much you feel your prepared for it, emotions will always occur, I’m missing him so much already.

Next time he’s home Baby will be 6 ½ months and could be crawling. He won’t know what’s hit him lol/ Until then I try to stay strong for my little girl, and look forward to his return.

Again thank you for being here, and being a great help. Remember ladies you’re a lot stronger than you may realize and as hard as it may feel at times remember your husband, boyfriend, son or daughter thinks about you and loves you just as much as you do them. You are never alone although many of us are going through the same emotions. Keep smiling.

Aimee xx"