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How Does One Say Goodbye?

How does one say goodbye to a life-long companion, confidante, supporter, and lover? Even though I barely knew the person I am thinking of today, I am writing and thinking of my co-worker, who lost his wife last week. I can’t prevent the tears from forming when I think about how difficult it will be for him to carry on in a world that can be so cruel. I’m trying to avoid using names out of respect for the deceased and my co-worker, but it’s hard because these are people, true individuals who mattered to each other greatly in this world.

I suppose this recent passing is moving me so greatly because of the vast divide between how she saw my co-worker and how the rest of the world sees him. If you would ever ask her if she would leave him, she would always say, “God no! He’s a good man and someone would snap him up!” – to which some (IMO) lesser men would shake their heads in disbelief. I don’t think we’ll ever know exactly what she saw in him but what concerns me is whether he will continue to see those good things in himself now that she is gone. Who will be there to remind him every day that he is a good person and has done right by his family, his country, and his God? Who will be there to renew his faith when he is down after the employer he has loyally served for better than 30 years denies him advancement again?

There is so much that isn’t right what my co-worker has gone through in his working life, but she was always there to console him. She was always there to tell him that he was a good man worthy in her eyes and in the eyes of the Lord. Who will remind him of his good traits tomorrow or the next day or the next when (again IMO) a lesser man denigrates him at work – perhaps even with the temerity to do it to his face?

Each of us walks a path in life that at times can be hard. So much of the burden of what we go through in the hardest times is borne by the people who care about us. The greatest burden of all is borne by those closest to us. How does one say goodbye to the person who stood by you when you felt at your lowest? Saw you at your weakest? Loved you at your ugliest?

How does one say goodbye and shoulder those burdens after so many years of being helped by such a good, strong and honorable person? In God we trust. I hope for my friend and co-worker’s sake He is merciful and kind. He’s a good man and deserves it.

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No Comments updated October 25, 2011