Its hard to say definitively that I’ve said more goodbyes than your average 30 year old, but I suspect I may at least be above average in these stakes.
The more I say it, the more it feels like death, even if I know it is not a forever-farewell. Maybe it is the very fact that I’ve turned 30 that makes this process harder? Something to do with my biological clock perhaps??? Or maybe just that, as a spring reaches the point of no return, I’ve said so many in such a short space of time that I’m fast approaching the “I’m-done-with-this-can’t-do-it-anymore” point.
Whatever it is, it sucks.
The pain of goodbyes and changes is in direct correlation with the joy of love. It hurts only because we love. Okay, so I’m sure that it is not always purely altruistic – I might cry when you leave because I’m lonely and don’t want to be – but a large part of it is because of love and our pain serves to help us see and appreciate that we love and are loved.
If we allow ourselves to ignore the pain of goodbye, we are in denial of love. If we focus only on the pain of goodbye, we miss the joy of love. To engage fully with the relationship between love and the pain of farewells, is to celebrate the power of resurrection life. Jesus did not merely ‘come back from the dead’, he passed through death, he went beyond it and broke its power over us.
We need no longer fear.