Grieving The Goodbye With Grace

As midnight approaches and I get ready to say goodbye to May,
as we get ready to say goodbye to another school year this week,
and as I prepare to say goodbye to an office I moved in to back when we used dial-up to connect to the Internet, my thoughts turn to one of my favorite 
childhood characters, Winnie The Pooh.

It's been a month.
And what a month it has been.
A month since they told me I was being transferred.
A month of heartbreak and heartache.
A month of grieving the goodbye. 
Hard stuff.
So hard that some days it hurt to breathe.
Some days I felt sick to my stomach.
Some days I couldn't stop crying.

And I couldn't exactly figure out why.
That's important, you know, getting to the why.
Because once we know the why, we can get to the how.

It was this Thursday, on my mental-health day away from school,
 that something my sister said helped me get to the why. 
It's kind of like a divorce, she said. 
One that you didn't see coming. One that you don't want. And one that you're having trouble accepting. Of course you're grieving.

Amen. Someone gets it. And the pieces fell into place.
I was hurled into a separation I didn't ask for and don't want.
No wonder it hurts so bad. Yes, it makes sense to me now.
I understand why I haven't been myself.
It's not that I don't want to follow my kids next door,
or nurture the seeds I've planted, or experience them in the next age and stage. 
It's that I was blindsided by an unwanted break. 
One that shocked me.
And one that hurt. 
To the core.

I wish I could say that I've handled it with grace.
Some days were better than others, but this month,
this month has been really challenging.
Difficult at best.
A real character builder.
An emotional roller coaster. 
I've been sad and mad. 
And I've wanted to take my wounded pride and run away.
As fast and as far as I could.

The good news is that, day by day, I'm tenderizing
and that pride is turning toward grace. And gratitude.
I'm thankful for a new opportunity, for sure and
I'm ever so grateful to readers, family and friends
who've checked in on me and normalized my feelings.
Just yesterday, Sue (whom I look forward to meeting in real life one day) sent an email to make sure I was okay.
She validated the notion that counselors need a job that fits. 
And she said she was crying with me. 
There's that glorious virtue of empathy. 
I value that in a friend.
And it helped me move toward the how.

So tomorrow when I wake up, I'll be a year older.
And a lot of tears wiser.
It'll be a new month and another chance
to grieve the goodbye with grace.
And to move forward.

I'm lucky and abundantly blessed to have worked since dial-up in a school, 
where I've felt rooted while rooting for kids, 
where I've felt joy basking in the climate of caring, 
where I've always felt at home. 

We're starting the mural on the wall in my Counseling Cove in the morning, a nice first step into my new story.
Good grief; is that a twinge of excitement I'm feeling?
Grace ... it's a beautiful thing.


  1. There seems to be change everywhere these days... It's so hard when we don't have much control. I pray that the summer will bring some peace and preparation for what I am sure is ready soil for you to plant new seeds. Think of the crop you have harvested... It may be time to expand. Thinking of you and wishing you all the best.

  2. Barbara I just have to let you know how amazing your blog posts are to me. I especially enjoyed the "root-bound" post a few days ago but I have to say I thought you were retiring! I even told several of my friends that my "online mentor" was retiring just like me this year. I smile when I think of it now but as I read your post I could relate with so many of the same feelings. I had a difficult decision of retiring after 37 years in education and I used the same quote you used today in my address to the administration and board. The emotion or feelings of retiring or "re-locating" for me is similar. A few years ago I was moved from high school counseling to elementary. I literally anguished over the summer because of the move but in searching I found your blog and have followed you ever since! You are an inspiration to me not only in my work but also in life lessons! (P. Shirer's book "Life Interrupted" was a great help in my transition that year as well.) I will continue to follow you because I just like to see what you are up to! I will especially see how you will handle a change as I face a great change myself. I just wanted to let you know you are amazing! I used the superhero theme this last year and the students loved it! Thanks for sharing.

  3. You will be so incredibly awesome in your new assignment! It has been hard for me too, but I can imagine it is ten times harder for you with so many years invested. I love how you are embracing this as the new opportunity that it presents - I need to adjust my thinking too! Relax, and enjoy your summer! <3


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!