Goodbye, Adios, Auf Wiedersehn, Au Revoir, Chao ong ba, So long,
On this journey toward the river between this life and the next,
I must say “goodbye” too often.
Sometimes out loud; sometimes silently;
sometimes bitterly, never joyfully.
Sometimes there are tears; sometimes happy memories,
but never eagerness.
Such a harsh word!
Now I understand a resident who refused to use it.
As a gentler alternative,
she chose the Spanish phrase “Vaya con Dios” (Go with God).
I like that.
It’s more like opening a window than closing a door!
Family and friends will understand,
But what about non-human things I must part with?
- dreams and goals that will never be realized
- the things I enjoyed doing
- my independence and self-sufficiency
- setting my own schedule and use of time
- the stuff I treasured
- the broader world beyond the walls of my home
I miss them all.
How can I properly take leave
of those important - but intangible - realities?
But I do not travel alone.
and love never leaves me.
Emmanuel is my Companion and Guide,
and when I reach that river,
“God with us” will be my Bridge into eternity.
Go with God, indeed!
9 April 2019 mshr