General Question

babygalll's avatar

How do you deal with someone leaving?

Asked by babygalll (2721 points ) November 24th, 2008

A good friend of mine is in the Army. He left today for eleven weeks for training. Then he is off to Iraq for God only knows how long. No less then a year and then possibly another two years for another assignment. While on training he cannot have any contact with anyone. I totally understand that, but not knowing when I will see him again is what I am having trouble with. How do you deal with something like this? I know my life has to go on and I can’t sit around the phone and wait for him to call. Any suggestions?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Have a good cry…several if you need to. It is hard, but you will adjust in time. I’m sending good thoughts for your friend’s safety.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I have friends whose families are career military, and I know that it is a different type of mindset that enables families to cope. Augustlan is right—have a good cry. While he’s in training. he can’t call out, but there will come a point where he will get mail in. Keep it light, news-from-home type of communications. Mail in the military is always big. I write to soldiers I don’t know through Soldiers Angels.

Darwin's avatar

Bear in mind that once he is assigned he can give you an address for sending packages and letters.

Mail is always important for soldiers. Generally, soldiers appreciate up-beat letters giving the latest happy news about friends and family as well as a few photos so they can feel connected to home. Especially in Iraq, packages of comforts from home are most welcome. These include things like clean socks, paperback books, deodorant, candy, and other hard-to-obtain personal items.

In addition, many of my friends who were sent to Iraq had at least some computer access. They routinely emailed and several set up Facebook pages where they posted permissible photos. A few were able to call every now and then as well, so it isn’t the end of the world, although it may feel like it now.

By all means have a good cry after he leaves. And then you have to pick up and carry on as normal.

I say all this as the wife of retired career Navy man in a military town.

jessturtle23's avatar

My boyfriend left two weeks ago for I don’t know how long so I know how crappy it can be. I have been writing down thoughts that we would have discussed if he were here. I also know that it’s his job and that’s how life is and that has kind of been my mantra. I like that my dog can sleep in the bed with me because my bf doesn’t let him.

shrubbery's avatar

My dad went, 12 weeks in Darwin for training and 6 months in Iraq. It was hard, but we managed. It’s the hardest about halfway through, but I guess you wouldn’t know if that was 6 months in or a year and a half in, if he’s going on another assignment. But when you do know, you will have something to look forward to, and things will get better after that. You will be able to see the end and how far away it is and all you have to do is keep doing what you’re doing between now and then and it’ll come by quicker than ever. I promise. For now, just have hope, be sad, yes, but be strong, for his sake. If you’re not strong when you finally get to talk to him, how can you expect him to be? His strength of spirit is vital, and will in turn make you stronger, which, again, will make him stronger. So it goes back and forth, until you both can look forward to him coming home.

E-mails are great, and he’ll be able to call often too, well I know my dad was, though it might be different for American troops from Australians, and I guess it will depend what he’s doing there. Sometimes it will be hard to hear him, what with helicopters and trucks in the background, but he’ll still be able to hear you most of the time so he’ll at least be comforted by the sound of your voice. Just keep talking as long as you can.

But yes, he should have regular e-mail access, the Americans my dad worked with did. And like the guys above said, care packages are great; photos, lollies, books, souvenier type objects he can give to the Iraqis as gifts if he’s working with them. You’ll have fun putting them together and finding ways to arrange them to fit in the box (it’s like a jigsaw puzzle) and make sure they don’t go over the weight limit.

And the others are right about what to put in the e-mails, just chat about home and what’s going on with you and what you’ve been up to and all that jazz, it will make him homesick yes but in a good way and you don’t really have to ask what he’s doing, he probably doesn’t wanna talk about it, this is his free time and doesn’t want it filled with work related stuff, and he’s probably not allowed to say much either.

Be strong. It will be OK. You will hear from him soon. And though we may be strangers on the internet, we are always here for you if you need.

defender's avatar

believe it or not, i have so many people walk in and out on me millions of times. and they still do. friends and family alike. just when you started getting to know them, they have to leave, or you’ve been friends for over 5 or 6 years and you thought that you’d never be separated, then they leave. this happens to me SO often that it has become a habbit of mine not to become too intimate or close with someone because i know he or she’ll have to leave. at first, i hurt me so much. all i could do was pray. then later, after so many people coming and leaving i learned restrain myself from becoming too close. but that’s just me. hope it helped.

daisy's avatar

My son is in the military (a different branch) so I understand how hard this is. I don’t know what it’s like in the Army but I was able to write letters to my son after a few weeks and he was able to call home a few times while he was in boot camp. It does get better after they are out of boot camp. My nephew is in the Army and was in Iraq for a good part of the last year. He was able to make phone calls and email while there.

I found an online support group for military moms that helped me a great deal. There is something very comforting about communicating with others who are going through the same situation. Everyone there had exactly the same fears I had and they had great suggestions for making that time easier. I found this one that you might try.

http://www.militarysos.com/

Even if your friend can’t write you back, he will love hearing news from home. The everyday, mundane things that you think he won’t like to hear about will be of interest to him. Tell him the sport scores of his favorite teams, the local news, national news… he can’t watch TV and keep up with what is happening and will appreciate hearing all this. My son was in boot camp over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years last year so it was very difficult for him and for us. I tried to stay upbeat and supportive in all my contacts with him because as much as I was missing him, I knew he was having a tougher time adjusting to his loss of freedom, loss of contact with his friends, the rigid schedules, and the changes and challenges he was facing. What he was feeling was so much more important to me than my pain and fears for him. Keep him in your prayers and be as supportive as you can.

pathfinder's avatar

When some one leaving and it is gonna be for long period.I say him.One day we meet again no mather what happen.I will all ways remember him or her.I have one special wish for best friends and that is ,,,see you in hell.

babygalll's avatar

Thanks everyone for all your supportive answers. Sometimes I feel that I can count of my fluther buddies more than family. I am trying to be strong and I know I have to be. I have been ok since he left, but today was bad, Holidays are the worse. I hate being around family during this time, because everyone has someone and I don’t. There are going to be many many days like this and I am not looking forward to it. I am better when I am home alone keeping myself busy. Being around everyone reminds me that I am alone.

I know that I can’t just stay home and wait for him to come back. Any suggestions for all the up coming holidays?

Mizuki's avatar

Have sex with him, or is that a given?

maybe_KB's avatar

I’m always saddened by some ones departure.
We’ll do a dinner before they leave I guess
or hold eachother.
Moment sharing type stuff, you know.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

The post office has boxes that they give you for free that will mail at a flat rate to APOs.

Start packing a box. Noraasnave did a photo journal on his last days in Iraq, and you might it helpful when trying to gather things together for care packages.
http://picasaweb.google.com/noraasnave/AaronSTour#.

mammal's avatar

by imbibing enough absinthe,
to dissolve their memory without trace

mikeblack's avatar

Due to My “Deployment”, I had to leave. Yet My Dearly One could not deal with the Politics, so i’m way over HERE, alone and cut off..My Family supports Me, as do most of My Friends, and AMERICA, but, its a hell of a thing. I would have bet My LIfe that We would be together for ever I guess I have to get used to the Idea, and not compair potential new Relationships, with Her. I see Her in the craziest things, A Crowd of People, and i think She is there to find Me, and say sorry. I see her in Atr, and in Life. Every where. Its Hard! The best advice i can offer, Love Your self, and concentrate on Your Golas…Hopefully love will find Us all. True Love, if there is such a thing/ I thought so—now i’mm not so sure….We are still alive, but there is way more to Life…I just have to “Move On”, as do You…i dont know what else to do…im “sleepless in Iraq”!

mikeblack's avatar

If You Love this Young Man, PLEASE STICK BY HIM. ALL He needs is YOU!!! Letters, Photos..The smell of Your Perfume on a nicely compiled , even short—even “i love You”. will KEEP A MAN ALIVE.!!!- A Perfumed—one He likes of YOURS{!!!} Post card with the Words “Thinking of You”’. Are Priceless!!! Better than Food, more desired than Gold. Trust Me, I know! I used to , any way. so, Trust Me on this one. Even a Friend Back Home..Thinking of Us, PRICELESS!

Airbornebound789's avatar

I hate to break the news to you but if you go overseas and you are in the Army, Marines, Navy, Airforce, etc. you can have contact with your family and friends if you WANT to. If someone told you they can’t they just don’t wanna talk to you and if you believed them you are a dumbass. I’m sorry to break that news to you

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther