This year will be our 6th as an Army family, and in that time we have done lots of goodbye-ing. I have found that there are two basic views on goodbyes in the military community. The first is the "Savor Every Last Moment" goodbye and the other is the "Get it Over With" goodbye.
I tend to believe that the "Savor Every Last Moment" goodbye is emotional and psychological torture perhaps on par with water boarding. Maybe that's an exaggeration. But it's awful!
The appeal of it is understandable. You're not going to see your spouse for months on end and you want to permanently stamp in your mind those last few seconds together. But uggh, to drag it out like that...and in the military, we're talking hours...it's torturous.
We prefer the short and sweet method. I already have plenty of memories engrained in my mind, I only need to hear "I love you" once, and I'd rather cry like a baby in the privacy of my own home, thank you very much.
Because I'm a cryer. And it's not pretty.
I'd rather give my soldier one last kiss and one tight hug and then get it over with and move on. I give myself a little time to be sad, and then I take a deep breath, find strength, and keep living.