We had known the day was coming. We had spent the last few days leading up to it packing away or throwing away things that represented the last three years of our lives in the hospital - piles of our patient census, pharmaceutical company give-aways, copies of journal articles used for reports, print-outs of the latest theraputic guidelines.
If only it were as easy to pack away these feelings of sadness and loss at the thought of going our separate ways.
Just as it's harder for us to find friends as we grow older, it is also that much harder to say goodbye to them after finding them at this point in our lives. We have been around long enough to know that no matter how hard you try to keep your friendships as they are, you know things will never be quite the same again.
For us, who have practically lived with one another for the past three years of our lives, the idea of no longer having a callroom of friends to come home to for the first time is incomprehensible. And while a part of us is happy to finally be able to come home to our real families, there is an equal part of us that grieves because we are saying goodbye to our IM family.
Despite it being a half-day, there was a surprising number of people in the callroom on our last day, busily packing their stuff away in preparation for hauling them back to their own homes. Everyone seemed to be putting off leaving, but inevitably it was time to go for each one. And while we promised not to shed any more tears, every time someone took leave and gave the remaining people a round of hugs - we did.
While we are happy to see a chapter in our lives close, another phase in our training completed, our hearts are heavy at having to say goodbye to each other. I don't know if the batches before us also felt this strongly about parting, maybe this marks us as strange, but ironic as it is, it's the mark of true friendship we've forged with one another over the years - and we're grateful for it.
To end this post, I'd like to share the messages some of my batchmates sent everyone on our last day as co-residents.
I can't imagine how my residency life would be if you weren't my batchmates. Thank you for accepting me and my shortcomings and made me feel that I belong in this group. Love you all. :)
I was walking through the halls of PGH, and it was heartbreaking to know that you guys won't be there. :( Thank you for all the memories. But this is not goodbye.
Shet, di ko alam kung angina to o mabigat lang loob ko na maghihiwalay na tayo. Thanks for being my family in Manila.
Marami na rin tayong mga pinagdaanan. May mga oras ng kalungkutan, iyaka, galit at tampuhan, ngunit may oras din ng ngiti at tawanan... mga panahon kailanma'y hindi ko malilimutan. Sa lahat ng ating pinagsamahan, salamat, kaibigan.We are sad to part ways because we know that things will never be quite the same again. We leave each other with no promises we cannot keep - only memories and love that we can. And we know that no matter what happens, we are who we are today because of all that we gave to one another... and that is something that goodbye can never take away.
We may drift apart at some point in our lives and eventually lose touch. But you know what keeps me smiling? I know that no matter what happens, we will always be friends.
Paalam, batchmates! On to the next challenge!