Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Saying Goodbye

 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.

  Memories linger 

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