Seniors: Part 3, Saying Goodbye Too Often

Feb 1st, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Almost weekly now comes one or another obituary notice of a high school friend, a college classmate, a professional colleague, someone known well along life’s journey.  Many were well known and well liked, even loved.  Some were mostly just names, persons with whom only passing acquaintance identified our relationship.  Nonetheless their passing strikes home.  Nonetheless the starkness of mortality makes its imprint upon all of us seniors as we age.  Nonetheless we wish we might have been able to bid our farewells in person before their parting.

One of the marks of aging is that death is a frequent caller.  It takes away from us those who meant much at one time in our existence.  They, whom we saw only occasionally, are now gone.  Maybe a faded photograph, a line penned in the high school annual, a recollection of some shared frivolity is all that is left.  Deeply saddened, we recall them fondly and briefly and then move on with our own lives and toward our own destiny. 

Perhaps one way to reduce the heartache and pain is to try to let them know, those older and younger, how much still we value them and the parts they played in our lives.  Maybe, just dropping a line, sending an email, making a call would bolster both our spirits.  Maybe, just maybe, before it is too late, we could conjure up some deeply meaningful way of letting others know just how precious their memory is to us. 

Makes no difference now how the relationship was defined.  Maybe you will want to write a superior who was your boss.  Maybe you will want to be in touch with a neighbor with whom you had a school yard fight.  Maybe you will want to trace an acquaintance you dated and left too suddenly and somewhat hurtfully. Maybe correspondence with a former college roommate, a fellow student with whom you drilled for exams, a professor who gave you gifts of imagination and curiosity.  Maybe there are others out there who were especially dear and helped you when you were despondent and down.  Maybe you remember persons with whom you made the promise to be in touch again, but never have.  Maybe you can discover one or two who now live not so far away and who would welcome a visit.  Maybe you will become aware of someone who is experiencing a life threatening illness.  Maybe  your presence, a word, a message, a bouquet of flowers would lift them beyond your imagination.  Maybe there is someone in your own family whom you owe kind actions and thoughtful sharing, but whom you have not seen in years. 

When we find ourselves saying goodbye too often, perhaps it is time we chose to do something more than simply regret the news of another passing.  Perhaps it is time we took initiative to be in touch, to let them know, to communicate care and affection. If, as we find, saying goodbye occurs more and more frequently, then why don’t we take the time to let others know now, before they can no longer hear us, how special they have been in our lives.  Such a goodbye may make for a sweeter parting.



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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sharon Shaw Elrod, AlzDallas. AlzDallas said: #seniorcitizen Seniors: Part 3, Saying Goodbye Too Often: Almost weekly now comes one or another obituary notice… http://bit.ly/fQPyEy [...]

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