By Rev. Dr. Ed Hird
Writing and books have a tremendous influence on all of our lives. Sometimes the most powerful writing we do is when we say ‘Goodbye’. Most eulogies at funerals are an opportunity to say Goodbye, to pay our last regards. Most of us say ‘goodbye’ thousands of times in our lives. Saying goodbye to our loved ones is always the hardest. As most of us are immigrants to Canada within the past number of generations, we know the story of how hard it was for ourselves, our parents or grandparents to leave our homeland and come to this strange land named Canada. My Nana Allen was born in Canada, but she still called England the mother country. She longed deeply for a land that she never saw until she turned 80. When the Irish left Ireland to come to the new world, many of their relatives had a wake, in effect burying them as dead.
Unless we learn to say goodbye from our hearts, we can never move forward in our lives. Many people will never let go. They easily become bitter, discouraged, and even physically ill. Letting go and letting God is not just a slogan. It is a vital key to restoring health in our lives.
Jesus said ‘Blessed are those who mourn/grieve for they shall be comforted.’ Saying goodbye is the heart of genuine, healthy living. The term ‘goodbye’ is an English contraction of the phrase ‘God be with you!’ Why were our ancestors always saying ‘goodbye’ to each other? Because they wanted God to be with them. What better gift can we give each other that the gift of God being with them?
Jesus had to say goodbye on Good Friday before he could say ‘hello’ on Easter Sunday. Why did Jesus leave his best friends on Good Friday? He left them because he loved them and wanted God to be with them. As Jesus hung on the cross, he said ‘Goodbye’: “Into your hands I commit my spirit’. Jesus knew that unless he let go and surrendered to the cross, there would be no way forward. The resurrection joy of Easter Sunday is a direct result of Jesus saying goodbye on Good Friday. My prayer for you is the words ‘goodbye’. May you discover that God is really with you, that you are deeply loved.
Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News.
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