Saying goodbye is a life skill. It is not surprising that Amazon has a list of 20 best “goodbye” books for preschoolers. But what about a book for a grown-up?
This year it is me who is having a tough time saying goodbye. We have had two wonderful pastors at our church for the past 3 years and now they have both decided it is time to move back east to be closer to their families. In our denomination pastors come as a “call” and leave when they are “called.” The fact that both of them were called to return home at the same time has been a bit disconcerting but certainly understandable.
In between “calling” a new pastor, we have what is called an interim pastor. This is someone trained to help congregations in transition. We are lucky to have found a wonderful interim to serve our church.
But that still leaves me saying goodbye to two wonderful people I’ve come to love and cherish. And – part of the deal is that when a pastor leaves a church, they have no contact with the congregation for a year. So it is sad for me to have to go into this funny place of putting a wall between myself and another human – it is so unhuman! Especially for me, a person who craves connection and thrives on relationships.
This time will pass; I know the year will fly by, they always do. I’m sure I will hear little bits of news about these wonderful people as they continue their journeys and I’m sure they will hear little bits of news about me too. But it isn’t the same and it is a loss pure and simple.