I recently attended a meeting in which we discussed the topic of separation. The meeting focused on parents separating from children–either leaving to go to work or leaving to run an errand. Often parents sneak out the door in order to diminish tears from their toddler. But the facilitator of the conversation explained parents leave quickly because they themselves do not want to face the personal feelings of sadness, guilt, and frustration. It isn’t so much about the child. It is more about the parent.
I left thinking how true this is of most partings. How many of us would rather transition quickly from one stage of life to another without long, drawn out goodbyes? Whether it is moving to a new home, school, or job, saying goodbye is hard. Saying goodbye to a relationship is painful. Saying goodbye to a dying loved one is excruciating. Sometimes it seems like it is better to just “get it over with.” In other words, to move on.
But some souls don’t take quick transitions as well as others. Feelings of longing and regret creep in and we wonder if perhaps, there is a better way of leaving…of transitioning to something new and different. Saying goodbye to something or someone doesn’t need to be drawn out process. But taking the right amount of time to make peace with an ending is something to consider.
Deuteronomy teaches, “Blessed may you be in your coming in and blessed may you be in your going out.” Not rushed in your coming and going. Not without thought or meaning or intention.
May your goodbyes, in whichever ways you encounter, set you upon a path of blessing and inner peace.