It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

By, Chaplain Howard Earle

…How do I say goodbye to what we had?
The good times that made us laugh
Outweigh the bad

…I thought we’d get to see forever
But forever’s gone away
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

…I don’t know where this road
Is going to lead
All I know is where we’ve been
And what we’ve been through

…And if we get to see tomorrow
I hope it’s worth all the wait
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

…And I’ll take with me the memories
To be my sunshine after the rain
It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday

This song was released in 1991 on the Cooleyhighharmony album by a young R&B group comprised of childhood friends called Boys II Men. Boys II Men would go on to be global superstars with a timeless appeal spanning across generations. I dare say they are my generation’s Temptations. This song, It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye, was our senior class song for 1993. We certainly were familiar with the song because of its release two years prior, but context made all the difference in the world. As we listened to our male glee club belt out the lyrics at graduation, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming since of sadness. Graduation marked the closing of a significant chapter in all of our lives, and it was time to say goodbye as the world awaited us.

From week to week my heart is warmed by the stories that are shared by the participants in our Tuesday morning Nobody Asked Me (NAM) group. Without fail, there’s a story shared about a favorite pastime, mischief with childhood friends, and adventure with life partners and family. As these memories are shared my imagination goes into overdrive as I create mental pictures of the episodes described. The nostalgia is infectious as we see eyes brighten and smiles widen with hearty laughs. I can recall several occasions when the memory shared triggered me taking me back to events in my own past.

Boys II Men couldn’t have said it better; It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. Saying Goodbye is never easy, especially when we have to say it to those we love. From my immersion into senior adult living and along with my own journey, I have found saying goodbye to be bitter-sweet. Bitter for the obvious reasons of not seeing our friends and loved ones again. And sweet because of the immeasurable joy we accumulated over the time we shared life together. Whether we like it or not, saying goodbye forces us all to set sail and embark upon the same journey, grief. The beauty of NAM is that we discover that we are not on the voyage alone. Everybody grieves differently, but grief strikes us all. I don’t know who you last waved goodbye to but I’m sure it was hard.  Join us on Tuesday at 9:30 am in the Chapel as we sail together sharing and encouraging one another. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our NAM Open House scheduled for Monday, August 7th at 2:00 pm on the Vistas Patio.

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Beacon Hill at Eastgate is a distinctive, not-for-profit retirement community located in Grand Rapids’ desirable Eastgate neighborhood.

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