Endings and Beginnings

A few months ago in February I was in my office at my computer working when I got a Face time call from my brother, Larry. We had a lovely visit and in closing he said, “Excuse me, I have to go now. Pauline, I love you.” I leaned back from my computer screen, somewhat shocked at his bold declaration. I grinned and said, “Thank you, I love you too.

Two weeks later I got a call from my other brother, Stan, informing me that Larry had laid down for a nap in the afternoon and never woke up. A family friend commented: “He went to bed in his home and woke up in heaven.”

I smiled when I remembered our last conversation and how we were able to express our love for each other and say goodbye.

Six months later on August 5th I hosted a farewell dinner at for my oldest granddaughter who is moving into her own apartment in southern California with 3 girlfriends on her 22nd birthday.

We had a lovely visit and a friend came over to share some wisdom she had gained when relocating. The party ended at 9 pm and Lexi, and her sister Sadie left. I was surprised that I didn’t cry when I hugged Lexi longer than usual thinking “I have to remember how she feels.”

The next day the sobs came as all the goodbyes of the past came tumbling forward into my present. I remembered telling my daughter goodbye in September of 1987 as I drove away with a U-Haul in tow headed to California for my new job. So many goodbyes in my past and probably so many in my future.

Saying goodbye is an opportunity – to close one chapter of our life and open up a new one – to fill the void left when life forces us to say one more goodbye.

By Pauline Laurent

I am a story teller who believes that telling our stories not only unites us, it heals us. I had a story I was afraid to tell for 25 years. Keeping that secret almost destroyed. When I finally had the courage to tell, my life changed dramatically. I invite your stories, especially the ones you don't want to tell. Only you know what they are. In telling our stories we bear witness to our lives. What's your story? I'm curious.

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