Saying goodbye is a gift

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My life is filled with goodbyes these days.  I’m moving from San Francisco to Austin, leaving a city that I’ve been connected to since 1994, and my entire family is coming with me.  We’re saying goodbye to the house where my three sons kept us up with their scared newborn cries, where they stood on their tiptoes to look taller against the mark on the wall showing their height…where we tearfully took a home video of our son taking his first steps around the living room corner.  Countless other precious moments stare back at me every step I take through my increasingly bare home, and my heart alternately drops or soars throughout the day.  It’s an emotional time.

I’m saying goodbye to friends I’ve written music with; friends I’ve sung my heart out with, friends I’ve laughed with to the point of my stomach hurting, friends I told excitedly about this awesome girl I met who then became my wife and mom to my three boys.

I’m saying goodbye to my brothers (all three live here) and my parents, as we enter a phase where dropping by on a whim is no longer available to us, and Skype with the grandparents replaces meeting up with the cousins in Grandma’s basement.

Yes, goodbyes can feel sad.  It’s hard to let go, to know that those types of memories and the circumstances that created them will no longer be there.  That the chapter is ending.

Yet what a privilege to have the opportunity to KNOW things are ending, and to have whatever time we are given to honor those moments, to reflect on their meaning, and by doing so give them a rightful place as they are part of the fabric that you are woven from.  What a privilege to be able to tell people how much they have meant to you, to laugh or cry as you retell the stories together, of knowing that the good ol times are always happening all around you.  We so often don’t get those opportunities – nobody announces that it’s going to be the last time you have a pillow fight with your son, or the last time you share a beer at your favorite bar with your buddy, or the last time you get to tell a parent you love them.  We are in fact, always saying goodbyes, since never again will we experience what we are experiencing now.  Know that and honor that.  Life is really one goodbye after another.

I am so thankful for the chance to really honor this chapter of my life.  And yet, as we say our final goodbyes to our life in San Francisco, we are making room for a new life in Austin.  We have no idea what this will be like, and in this light I have been inspired by a quote from Joseph Campbell:

“As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm.  Jump.  It is not as wide as you think”.  And jump we shall, holding hands, enthusiastically, and confident that we will find our way.

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One thought on “Saying goodbye is a gift

  1. Johanna C. Nilsson

    Austin suddently climbed the ladder and became a very attractive place to go visit.
    You will be missed in San Francisco Chris and Michell – counting on many returns!
    Enjoy your new phase in life!
    Johanna

    Reply

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