The perfect word for what I felt, this morning, has no exact equivalent in English. I found it by searching for “what’s a word that means both happy and sad at the same time?” That led me to Saudade: “Although it relates to feelings of melancholy and fond memories of things/people/days gone by, it can be a rush of sadness coupled with a paradoxical joy derived from acceptance of fate and the hope of recovering or substituting what is lost by something that will either fill in the void or provide consolation.”

What better description is there for that feeling at 3:20 AM, sending my youngest back to college 2000 miles away, knowing it will be another six months to the next reunion? A poignant sense of missing him, even before he walked out the door this morning, coupled with the certain knowledge that childhood is over, but wrapped in pride and great happiness seeing the man emerge from the boy.

Yes, the happiness wins out. But it would help if the incessant rains would stop.



Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit
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6 thoughts on “Saudade”

  1. I was curious how long W was staying. I enjoyed your new word! I can’t think of a time I would use it, but I am glad to know it!

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