"And what will you take away", I ask...
"The sound of your voice. The softness and the sadness in it. For me it has been the voice of understanding..."
"The fact that you have listened and accepted and understood. You taught me that I am good enough".
"I have received. Received so much from you. I am going to miss you."
It goes on around the room, more and more words of closure and acceptance and goodbye....
And then my own eyes tear up as I look around the room. A room filled with people I care about. People who have opened and shared and given and grown and learned. And I have learned with them, grown with them, listened and known them and it is hard, so very hard to say goodbye...
I say instead, "Take care until next time..."
They get up and slowly a crowd is gathering around me as first one and then another steps up to scoop me in their arms in hug after hug, breaking the unstated barrier of separation that I have maintained all along and thus far- and today they have decided it shall no longer stand. I am silent as I receive their warmth and kindness and regard.
I had said to them,
"Pay close attention to endings in your life for they will mark beginnings for you. How you end things determines how you will begin again..."
And they have taken to heart what I stated and they have put it to action. I observe in silence.
Yes my work here is done.
I have known that if I did my job right I worked myself out of a job, for they would no longer need me.
And today I am in a room full of people who are not in need. They stand in regard not in need. I am content. My work here is done indeed.
I walk slowly back to my office, shut the door and shed a personal tear of my own.
Yes it is goodbye.