SAYING GOODBYE ISN’T EASY
I was thinking the other day about good-byes. It seems we spend a lot of time in our lives saying good-bye, whether it is a temporary “see you later” or a more permanent, “I wish I could hold you one more time”. It also seems the older we get the more frequent are the good-byes. Some of us are better at saying good-bye than others. I am not one of those. I hate saying good-bye in any form.
I recently had to say good-bye to a most remarkable canine friend. She shared 15 years with me, walking along with the tractor on the farm, sleeping in the backseat of the car while I flew around with a flight student or just being in the same space with me, doing nothing. She was never one to cuddle much and only occasionally got playful by running in a tight circle in the field, stirring up a cloud of dust then rolling on the dusty ground. Mostly she lived every moment with quiet dignity. And true to herself, while asleep on her bed at sunset on a warm fall evening, she quietly died.
I still save food bits or the crust of bread for her, until I remember....
Those who choose to have an animal friend will relate more to this than those who do not. But the point is, saying good-bye is tough, no matter the circumstance.
What got me thinking about this uneasy business of saying good-bye was the very colorful fall we had this year and how after many thousands of years Mother Nature has perfected a glorious and beautiful way of saying good-bye to the warm breezes and sunshine of summer, preparing us for the cold and dark days of winter.
During the summer months we hardly notice the leaves warm shades of green. They are just there, part of our busy shirts and shorts activities. Then one day the wind has a chill to it. We notice a few leaves have turned pale and there are some light yellows and whites and reds among them. Then, within a couple weeks, they explode into a beautiful and glorious pallet of brilliant colors that can never be matched. And then, in only a few short days, strong winds blow those colorful leaves to the ground, to their final resting place. And it’s over...just like that. But in those few short days of brilliant color those leaves seemed to say, “It’s ok, we had a wonderful time being here but it’s time to go”. And somehow that farewell show of color softens the harsh reality of time passing, and life changing.
The next time I have to say good-bye I’m going to think about how those leaves celebrate their own passing. I hope it will make it easier for me.
Fare thee well Grace. Godbwye.