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Saying Good-bye

on June 1, 2013

Facebook is filled with pages of graduate from kindergarten, high school, and college. The smiles abound as proud parents, family members, friends, and the graduates themselves embark on another chapter in their lives. Tears flow as pictures reflect possibly the last time friends will be together. They have made such incredible journeys together during times of trials and wonders over the years. Yes, there will be reunions but life is never the same once you make the proud walk in cap and gown across the field or gym floor. New doors will be open, some close as all move forward never as a group again but forming new ones or going it alone.

We do not prepare our kids on how to say good-bye. Long ago when families moved across the country to pioneer new lands or due to plagues and famine, good-byes were common place and often something addressed in teaching as well. There were long periods when people did not hear from each other; the pony express service was no where the speed of an iPhone. Poets and writers wrote at length about parting ways. Though never a joyous occasion, people had a different way of dealing with saying good-byes back then.

Today will mark a chapter in my life, a good-bye of many to come. It is a bit like a graduation because it was a place of learning, coming into my own as well as a source of hard knocks. I am closing the curtain on this aspect to move on to a great stage in my life. Years back saying good-bye would have been very difficult. Actually, I probably should have but lacked the ability to do so. Reflecting back upon the past few years I have noticed a number of good-byes mounting. The fear of change has left, the birth of a new me has come.

We should never deny ourselves the right to say good-bye in times we realize we should move on. We should encourage our children and friends who are dealing with such decisions to focus on what is right for them, not stay to please others. It is ok to say good-bye and move on. It is never ok to stay in a miserable situation out of guilt and pride. Good-bye doesn’t mean forever, it means for now I must part to move forward. You may not be able to see the same people, and places change with time but returning with a new attitude and purpose makes it much sweeter for all.

Good luck 2013 graduates! Best wishes to others moving on in their life!

A few quotes from the past on saying good-bye:

Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire. ~Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld, translated from French

You’re searching…

For things that don’t exist; I mean beginnings.

Ends and beginnings – there are no such things.

There are only middles.

~Robert Frost, Mountain Interval, “In the Home Stretch”

Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending. ~Lazurus Long

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. ~Gilda Radner


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