Saturday, June 16, 2007

Grieving goodbyes

Earlier tonight my two oldest children were upset and crying because they had a bad encounter with one of their friends. Usually chatty and interacting, their friend blew them off at a party. They wondered, "is he mad at us for moving?"

That got me to thinking about the five stages of grief. I wonder, do they apply to saying goodbye to people you love?
  1. Denial - They're not really moving away. They can't be.
  2. Anger - Why are they leaving? Where's their loyalty? Doesn't our friendship mean anything to them?
  3. Guilt - I wish we had spent more time together. If only I would have ______________.
  4. Genuine grief - In essence, a good cry.
  5. Resolution - I accept that the "status is no longer quo" and joyfully move on with life.
Tonight I tried to explain to Abby and Caleb that, when people say goodbye, they grieve the loss of that friendship. As they do, they go through various emotions like those listed above. They're not bad people, they're just hurting.

The time will come when all that remains is the joy of a lifelong friendship. I believe that. I hope my kids do, too.

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