Friday, September 23, 2011
Why is life so full of goodbyes? I guess that's one of those cosmic questions that will never really be answered. How we love to say hello! As a registered nurse and as a mother three times over, I have been privileged to watch new life come into the world, and there are no words that I can think of to adequately describe that beautiful experience. In the same breath, I have to say that I have also seen many, many goodbyes. I was a hospice nurse for two and a half years, and that time was by far the most challenging professional role in my eleven years as a nurse. I've seen goodbyes in just about every shape, form and fashion.
I've often marveled at the brave women during the pioneer years. They married, sometimes out of love, sometimes out of necessity, packed up everything they had, and said goodbye to everyone they grew up with, most of the time never to see or hear from them again. With no phones, telegraphs, postal system, or any way to get word back home, their families watched them leave with nothing but a prayer that they would reach their intended destination. That alone is such a devastating idea, but then you have to realize there were grandchildren they never met, or even knew about. It amazes me, living in today's world of modern conveniences, how they endured such pain. We have cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, web cams, email, everything imaginable to keep us connected with friends and family, and yet we still struggle with goodbye. I honor those unnamed heroes that gave so much of themselves, worked tirelessly under unfathomable hardships, cared for their children and husbands day in and day out, many doing so without a friend for miles. What amazing, selfless women. Thinking of such, I feel a bit guilty for my own whining in my present changing predicaments.
But, there is something to be said about the bonds of friendship that make goodbyes so difficult. How painful, yet how wonderful, to love and be loved so much that separation causes grief. I would rather go through this life and grieve over separation than to be spared the pain because I never had the friend to lose in the first place. And when it comes down to it, can you really lose a friend? Those friends who are closest and dearest to our hearts, those friends that love us as much as their own families, those friends who would give anything and everything within their power for our happiness and fulfillment, those are the friends we never really lose. And to those of my friends, I won't say goodbye to for now, but rather, I'll see you later.