We’ve all been there. You know it, the moment when your best friends PCS and leave you at your duty station sad and alone. You feel overwhelmed with sorrow because you know, you just know, you will never have friends like them again!
Okay, those emotions may be a little exaggerated, but it's no secret that watching your friends PCS before you do can feel like a punch in the gut and leave you feeling a little sad. If you're like me this PCS season and have to say goodbye to all your friends, you may appreciate a few words of advice.
Here are a few ways to cope when all your friends PCS.
Make plans to visit.
Just because your friends are moving doesn't mean you can't go see them. It may seem odd to treat military friends like those 'back home' and have to schedule time to see them, but it's necessary! Set aside a weekend or a week to travel out to their new duty station and see their new home. You will appreciate the time with them, and they will appreciate a familiar face. Fingers crossed they PCS somewhere cool!
FaceTime! Technology is fantastic, isn't it?
Just like with your extended family, we can use FaceTime and Skype to stay in touch with our friends in addition to phone calls, texting, and social media. Plan video dates so that you each can enjoy feeling present and part of each other's lives. Just as you are grieving your friends who recently moved, they're adjusting to a new duty station where they may know only a couple people or none at all.
I know it sounds outdated, but send an email recapping your last week, month, or however often you can write. Notes are a more personal way to stay in touch, and allow you to take a few minutes (when you have time) to catch each other up on life’s activities. Phone calls don’t always come at the right time, texting long messages is inconvenient, and social media leaves gaps, so sit down and type out all the things you shared with your friends before they moved. That way they can experience life with you, even if they're hundreds of miles away!
Make new friends.
Fellow military spouse and blogger Grace from Adventures of a Young Wife encourages you to put yourself out there...even when you don't want to. I know, making friends as adults is significantly more difficult than it was when we were kids. We can't just walk up and be best friends with someone because we have the same favorite doll.
But we can build relationships based on our military affiliation. Our military lifestyle gives us something in common. Try getting involved in groups and organizations at your duty station like book clubs, gym classes, spouse groups, etc. And don't be mistaken. Making new friends in no way devalues your other friendships. You are simply growing your community, and hopefully they are, too!
While these tips will help you cope as you adjust to your friends’ move, you can rest assured knowing that it is never really goodbye. The military is small, and you will most likely see each other again at another duty station, so hang in there and continue growing your community!