Our domestic helper, Yunani, had completed her 2 years contract and did not want to continue her tenure with us anymore. Though she was very close to our children, she misses home and we have to let her go.
After sending our maid off through the customs of Changi Airport, I saw Isabel's reddened eyes gleaming with tears. She turns 8 this year and for the very first time, her heart was broken knowing that her favourite playmate will not be returning to keep her company anymore.
Seeing her with such sorrow, saddens me and my wife. And I now know the big difference about being heartbroken myself and seeing the people you care about going through the ordeal. The latter being the one that will really twist and wrench your heart because you know that they will have to go through this process and there isn't much that one can do to help with the pain other than to hope that time passes quickly. And time, is the only healer.
And when it was time for bed just now, she wept uncontrollably as she misses her room mate sorely. I had to promise her that we will call Yuna the next day evening so she can chat with her.
All this time, we were worried more about our 3 year old son, Nathaniel, not being able to understand that his "kaka" will no longer be in our home the next day. But it was Isabel whom found it so hard to let go.
I had to explain to Isabel that in life, there will be many "Hellos" and "Goodbyes". With each "Goodbye", there will be a new "Hello". (Citing the new incoming maid as example). I hope she can understand what I was trying to say.
But what I didn't tell her was that, the greater the joy in the "Hello", the more the sorrow when it's time to say "Goodbye". Parents can guide their children but it'd still be best to let them figure out some facts of life for themselves rather than plain following parents' advice and not understanding about life itself.
I believe Isabel had matured socially after this significant event of her life. And we are so proud of her.
Isabel on happier days just weeks before her kaka's departure