Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Our lives are filled with goodbyes, some temporary and many forever. Eventually they will all enter the forever-and-ever category, but that’s a whole other blog. For now, I am going to write about the day to day ones we face with our family and friends.

Yesterday my son Deven and his delightful girlfriend Sophia, who I have become very close with, left for Maine to live in a beautiful cabin on the ocean for four months. It’s gorgeous, wild and free, and one of the most magical places I have ever visited. I am of course very happy for their temporary escape from the travails of life as we know it, and plan on staying with them for a couple of weeks sometime in the future. And just for your information, I have been officially invited as they adore my company, so I am not following them like some clingy mother ….

I have had to say goodbye numerous times to my boys over the last few years, as they left for college, or gone off on their adventures, and no matter how I emotionally prepare, it is always difficult. I fully see the big picture of how wonderful these opportunities are, and how good it is for them to be independent, to grow and be on their own, but that doesn’t take away the grief I feel every time as I watch them drive off into the sunset.

When I was a young girl, my mother took my siblings and I up to the San Francisco area to visit my uncle and his family. For some reason, she needed to leave us there for about a week, I am not sure of the details, but either way I was fine with her decision and happy to have this time with my cousins. At least, I thought so. It was not until later after saying our goodbyes in the driveway, when I saw her back up and head down the street, that I suddenly panicked my mother was leaving and I began running after her, my skinny little legs flying down the sidewalk, waving my arms and yelling for her to stop and take me with her. She had no idea this was happening and continued driving away until she was nothing but a tiny little speck in the distance. I gave up and stood there crying, then reluctantly turned around and walked back to the house. I ended up having a nice time, but will never ever forget the desperation and pain I felt in that moment as she left.

Flash forward to yesterday as I stood in another driveway, hugging my son goodbye, cradling his beloved face in my hands, and kissing his cheek, knowing he was about to drive over 7 hours away, and be gone for a significant amount of time. Quietly acknowledging there was nothing I could do, or even wanted to do for that matter, to hold him back. The same little girl who will always be a part of me, no matter how old I grow, was already preparing for the inevitable moment when my loved ones would get in the car and disappear into the distance. Thankfully I held it together, and did not go running after them, which wouldn’t have been good for anyone, especially me, as the driveway was covered with snow and very slippery.

Nevertheless, grief is grief.

Today I feel much better knowing they have safely arrived, and am already receiving videos and photos of them filling their water bottles at the natural spring, and later of my son sitting by the cozy wood stove.

This morning through the power of technology I was able to hear and view the misty gray ocean whispering over the slippery rocks, and can happily smile seeing that they are surrounded by such beauty.

Over the years, I have unfortunately experienced many other forms of goodbyes. Some with friends who I thought would be forever, some with lovers who I trusted would never leave, and even a few unspoken goodbyes from my close family members, which seems unimaginable even now. All have not been so cut and dried as the bittersweet one of yesterday, but instead drawn out, wrenched apart, ripped away, or faded slowly and painfully, inch by inch until nothing remains. These are the goodbyes that change you in ways that can never fully be healed, and at the very best, patched up with sticky glue, frayed scraps of fabric and bits of knotted string.

Some goodbyes may turn out to be for the best but this can be hard to fathom in the moments of leaving, and even more difficult to unravel later on. Our significant relationships are uniquely bound by shared experiences, time spent together, and mixed gently with the possibilities of future hopes and dreams. These are then tightly woven to create a beautiful tapestry, impossible to tease apart into separate categories of good or bad, right or wrong, happy or sad. It’s only in the finished piece where we can fully see how sacred everything has been in its entirety.

Today is the last day of 2021, and I am sure I speak for many that this year has been filled with an abundance of trials and tribulations, both personal and worldly, along with the beauty and magic that continually runs through it all. I am grateful for so much, too many things to list, but I happily say goodbye to this year and welcome in the new.

For everyone who has experienced the forever-and-ever goodbyes, or the sorrows which are way too deep to mention, please know you are loved and supported by myself, and hopefully others who are more tangible. It is good to seek help if you need more; there are many programs and people in this world who foster a place of generosity of spirit and love. I believe with all my heart in the perseverance and hope of humanity, and perhaps even more importantly, I believe in the divinity that binds us all.

things haven’t changed much….important message in the beginning!

Love is not ended through goodbyes, no matter how it may feel. Love is eternal and everlasting.

Happy Beautiful New Year

In Peace ~ Raven

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