Learning to say Goodbye

Those of us who have reached a certain age have entered a difficult time in our lives. As relatives, friends and acquaintances sicken and eventually die we who remain have to learn the difficult lesson of saying goodbye to them.

This was brought home to me yesterday when I received an email from a former co-worker that a mutual friend and co-worker was lying in a hospital bed in Milwaukee terminally ill.

I have known Mike for at least 20 years and kept in touch with him even though my wife and I had moved from Wisconsin to Virginia. He was also a relative of my wife’s, something that we discovered by sheer luck. Mike had retired several years ago and was looking forward to enjoying his retirement.

But that was not to be and now it seems that he will have no more than than a sort period of time in this world.

How do you say goodbye to someone like Mike. It’s a very difficult thing to do. “Been nice knowing you.” See you on the other side.” You can beat this thing.” After a while everything that you say seems meaningless.

I still haven’t quite formulated my ‘goodbye’ to my old friend. I hope that I can come up with something that will ease his going. Wish me luck.

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