Saturday, December 1, 2012

Say Goodbye, Say Hello

Say Goodbye, Say Hello

Rainbows are a bridge from rain to sun.
Can you be a "bridge" today?

“Say Goodbye, Say Hello.” It’s been a week of final goodbyes for people I love. My sister said her final goodbye to her dearest friend Mary last Friday. My daughter’s fiancé said a final goodbye to his mom’s significant other. Both deaths were expected, not that that makes either any easier to witness and bear, but loved ones were granted the blessed opportunity to express their love and say thank you and say goodbye to Mary and Wade.
It’s an odd perspective—this one of mine… watching and hearing the grief of those close to me, those dear to me. Having known her, I grieve Mary, but I don’t grieve her as my sisters grieve her passing. I hold a heavy heart for my daughter’s fiancé and his mom because I know the feelings of loss and emptiness they hold now in these days and in the days to come. I know this because loss and grief are equal opportunity experiences in each life of any length.
So when these losses come, I know to hold out my hand, to offer my shoulder, to open my ears, and to open my heart.
Goodbyes are tough and I don’t like them. I would much rather say hello.
Perhaps God in infinite wisdom and caring has given us a salve for the grief of goodbyes—that salve is the gift of being able to say hello. This week, for the first time, I felt my granddaughter kick as she signals to the world that soon, soon, she will be here to say hello in person. This juxtaposition of death and new life is one I cannot figure out… I don’t get it, any of it. All I know is that a bridge exists to help us move from one to the other… we say goodbye, and then, what a gift, oh, what a gift… we are given the opportunity to say hello… not just to a newborn, but to anyone with whom we connect—this day and any day.
So, in remembrance of Mary and in remembrance of Wade, say hello to those you love today. Say hello to those you don’t love today. Say hello and cross the bridge that separates us from each other. Welcome everyone as we will welcome Emma in a few short months.

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