Home > Devotionals > There’s Something About Saying Goodbye

There’s Something About Saying Goodbye

goodbyeThere’s something about saying good-bye that can be both bitter and sweet, but, no matter what, it’s always hard. It’s hard to say goodbye to a pet, to a house, to a car, to a habit, but most of all, to another human being. I just spent four months with a group of people, and it was suddenly time to say farewell. Not surprisingly, it was hard.

When my mother found herself in a situation where she had to say goodbye to someone, she would inevitably quote Shakespeare, specifically, the line from Romeo and Juliet: “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” After reciting that phrase, she would throw her arms around the person in dramatic fashion—she was a drama major in college—and make appropriate sorrowful noises. This saying was such a part of her, several people even  referenced it  during her funeral service.

However, I am most definitely not my mother—at least, that’s what I tell myself—so I prefer to say goodbye in the same way I say hello. When meeting someone for the first time, I try to make a connection. What do I have in common with this person? Do we like the same things? Do we know the same people? Do we share the same values? Do we attend the same church? This connection forms the basis for our relationship.

I try to do the same thing when I have to say goodbye to someone. What do I have in common with this person that will keep us connected? What do we both share that would enable our separation to be sweet, or, at the very least, less bitter? With this group of people to whom I was saying farewell, our shared commonalty was easy because they were all believers in Jesus Christ. That meant we shared the promise of a sweet reunion someday. We knew our parting was not permanent.

Jesus promised, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” John 14:2. I have no doubt the disciples found that saying goodbye to Jesus was the hardest goodbye they had ever experienced. Yet, even though their farewell was excruciatingly painful, the anticipation of a sweet reunion one day made it less difficult, less bitter.

Yes, saying goodbye to special friends last weekend was hard, yet it was not nearly as difficult as it would have been had we not known we would see each other again. And, when we do, nothing will ever be bitter again, all will be sweet, and there will be no more goodbyes, because there’s just something about saying goodbye.

 

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