As I prepare for our move, I have been saying a lot of goodbyes. It has been a joyous experience for me. The joy of saying goodbye has little to do with where I am going or what I am leaving. The joy of saying goodbye comes from appreciating the moment. Knowing that my time in this familiar circumstance is limited has encouraged a natural mindfulness in me. It becomes easier to be present when time feels short. When I am present in my interactions with people, I feel love.

I feel love in my interactions, not just because I am present. It helps that those people who I interact with and say goodbye to are friendly colleagues, friends and family. At work, I had a series of goodbyes over the past month. I went out for about five goodbye lunches and a goodbye dinner. Many people gave me gifts and cards. Many more people gave me kind words of encouragement and appreciation. I got lots of hugs.  How could I not enjoy this goodbye process.

On my last day, in the final hours, somebody asked me if I was sad to be leaving. Although it would have been polite to say that I was sad, I was feeling so nice from all the kind words, gestures and hugs, I had no room for sadness.  I answered that I was not sad, feeling a hint of guilt for not feeling what I was supposed to feel as I left. I eased my guilt by knowing that I would soon feel sad about something, surely. For me, it is hard to miss a situation that I am presently experiencing. That, or I am heartless.

When I say goodbye to somebody and they say goodbye to me, we feel connected, there is love there, it feels nice. We say all the regular things about, best wishes, keeping in touch and seeing each other again in some imagined future, but the gist of each goodbye is an acknowledgement of love.  I know all that love floating around the office is what sustained me in my work through all the years. I was fortunate to have such a  work experience and such goodbye experience. It has been a good use of taxpayers money.


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