The Hardest Word

DSC_0683 (3)Elton John got it all wrong.

For years, I thought he was right … sorry seems to be the hardest word.

But after this month and especially this week, I know better.

Goodbye is the hardest word.

The Times Square confetti had hardly been swept from the street, and life had already leaned in with a new lesson. We may decide to mark time or celebrate moments of significance like the New Year with hoopla, fireworks, and cake – but the truth is that life’s learning pays no nevermind to such momentary milestones. Lessons are learned during odd Tuesday all-nighters; clear, cold, and cloudless days; after supper; before sunrise; and even under the refreshing hope of a brand new year.

Whenever life’s good and ready … you’d better be too.

I’ve learned before how quickly loss changes life. For those who grieve, the loss – whether sudden or a long-time coming – changes instantly the day to day to day of living.  And once the loss becomes known, a moment of clarity pierces the grief with the realization that the time before … the living before the loss … should have been more appreciated. Celebrated. Lived with more gratitude.

We said goodbye to our beloved beagle this week.

And I suppose somewhere in between the highs of hope and the lows of despair, we knew the end was near. So we nursed and loved him every single minute, riding the roller coaster of a new reality. Emotionally preparing for the worst, but praying for the best. And we savored the time before.

Before goodbye.

So now we’re left a little wordless.

We’re wondering what comes after the hardest word has been spoken.

I’m hopeful it’s gratitude.  A thanks-filled heart for all the time before. And an understanding that this after … these days after goodbye … evolve into the next before -worthy of notice, deserving of gratitude, and a celebration of life.

I’m sharing this on Emily’s blog.




2 thoughts on “The Hardest Word

  1. This is a loss, a deep one, friend. I am so sorry that you had to say good-bye. Yes, it just might be the hardest word. That I know for sure.

    But you’re oh so right. Gratitude is interlaced in the farewell, in the grieving, in the moving ahead.

    Peace, peace …


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