Seniors: Dealing with Departures

Apr 19th, 2010 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Airplanes, cars, buses, trains often prompt our having to say goodbye.  These forms of separation and departure from people we love stir emotions within us that bring tears and hugs and  dropped shoulders.  Often the tears linger for a while.  Often we are literally left sobbing.  Often the separation requires time alone, time to adjust, time to recognize the sense of loss we feel in telling somone dear to us “goodbye,” at least for a time. 

Some departures are more difficult and dramatic than others. Recall the first time your first child went off to school.  The departure, the separation, even if only brief, the symbol of major change was almost heart splitting.  Or, later the event of your grown child making his/her way to the first semester of college. Or, the single event when your daughter or son shared in committing to marriage  and having to move into their own home.  Or when you or they make the decision to move away to live distant miles from each other. 

These fissures in our lives create moments in which our emotions must deal with departure.  No matter how dear we hold one another, none of us can build high fences, place collars around those we cherish, put up road blocks to keep the other from departing.  We are faced with adjustment, realignment, connecting in new and helpful ways.  Think of those dear saints who were separated from their loved ones a hundred or more years ago.  Think of the limits available for being and staying in touch.  Think of the possibility that once separated, it may have been literally forever. 

Today we are able to be in instant contact with those we cherish.  Today we are tempted to be so often together that we are subject to overkill, overdo, make ourselves almost unwelcome.  Learning the discipline of just enough calls or emails is important.  Don’t bore others with your own day to day life to the point that it becomes redundant and boring. 

Somewhere between saying goodbye on the tarmac (that dates me!)or the front porch, or standing by the automobile, each of us needs to find an authentic way to translate our affection and deep appreciation for the other.  Even in these times of frequency of departure, one never grows weary of being told by those we love how much we are loved and how we will be missed.

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