Thursday, August 2, 2012

Saying Good-bye

I am always surprised when it happens. I am always surprised when I have to say good-bye to someone and it does not come easily. Even when I know it's a good thing.

Yesterday was a friend's last day at work. He and his family are re-locating to Oklahoma. He found a fantastic job that will let him stretch his abilities and grow in his career and I hope he will be happy and really come into his own there.  I am very happy and excited for him and his family. What an adventure they are embarking upon!

He and I worked together for 14 years.  That's a pretty long time in this industry. Add to that the fact that he taught me the basic job that I do every day at my desk and in the lab at my bench. Every single day, I use the skills that he taught me when I was a novice chemist. When we said good-bye yesterday afternoon, after his going away speech and after everyone wished him well, we shared a friendly hug and when we parted and smiled at each other, I could see the tears I felt stinging in my eyes reflected in his. If I'm not careful, they'll come back again today with a vengeance.

The only things he and I have in common is our profession, the enjoyment of a good belly-laugh, and our passion for living life to the fullest possible extent. All the details are different for us. Still. I find myself missing him the way you miss a favorite, comfortable chair when it finally gives up the ghost and you have to discard it.  It's not something you want to do. Something...someone...familiar is gone and although I know he's only an email away should I choose to write one, it's just not the same.

I feel sad. I am attached to things the way they were and now they've changed. Recently, I've come to learn that being attached to things...even to the source of much of the pain in life. I've made an effort to loosen my grip on some of my personal attachments with varying degrees of success. I am, after all, a work in progress. Part of my process of letting go is just allowing myself to sit with the attachment and feel whatever emotions that attachment evokes in the current situation. Last night, as I sat on my yoga mat in the darkness of my room, I let the twinges from this separation twang at my heart and I reminded myself that all is as it should be.

In an effort to wrest myself free of this particular attachment, I would like to share something that has always been special to me. My favorite teacher in high school (Hi Mrs. Caleca, wherever you are!) sent me on my way in life on my graduation day with this blessing. Even though I know he likely will never see this and I am not a religious person, he is a Christian man and I know this would be something that he would like. I did not get an opportunity to share this with him yesterday.

So here goes.


For my friend, Matthew:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

So long, Matthew. Godspeed.


  1. What a great post. It's hard to say goodbye to good people.

  2. Thanks. He is good people. :)