SAYING GOODBYEMar 1st, 2013 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog
Facing Death with Intentionality
The occasion to say goodbye is one of the experiences of aging all of us must struggle to meet. My 93 year old mother has begun to find ways to articulate how to do that for herself. She recognizes the need to identify those to whom saying good bye needs to be intentional. She is aware of the various steps, not so numerous because of her long life, that will nonetheless need to be laid out.
Among the most difficult features of this experience is saying farewell to those who have meant and continue to mean the most. She will need to articulate to as many as will be available her deep and abiding affection while consciousness allows the opportunity to say what she wants to say in her own words.
All of us discover that in this process one needs to move with some dispatch, because the brevity of time soon catches up and it is no longer possible to remember or include all of those whom one wants to recognize.
By the time this period in one’s passing introduces the necessity to say it, say it soon, say it with compassionate regard; one must be driven by the realization that not much opportunity yet remains. Soon there will be little occasion to delay, to put it off in behalf of another day, to think about it. When the eyes grow heavy and your own tears more frequent, then one is aware of how imminent the need for closure is.
Don’t Wait for Tomorrow
If there are things still being discovered that need to be shared, things yet left unsaid, comments and affirmations that can’t wait any longer, say them, act on them, ask for some moments when hands can be held, and words spoken that are too precious to leave aside.
As with all things, this column must end. Whatever more can be said, will have been said. That is the climax of life. The experiences shared by those who have been the closest and most intimate will come to their ultimate finale. That sudden and inevitable ache will nudge other feelings aside.
The most that can now be articulated is said in words of treasured love. The kindnesses that will now flow along with tears will be evidence of the genuineness of abundant affection, sensitive caring, feelings of generous and ever sharing compassion. It won’t stop, even at death. Its presence will be felt and known and experienced through many moments of sudden memory.
Open yourself to the strange mystery that comes in saying that sweet goodbye, sharing that final kiss, holding each other in that last deeply shared embrace.