Dear Bittersweet Goodbye,
I’ve been feeling the bitter side of you more than the sweet side of you lately, Goodbye. As my time in Hartford comes to a close, as I can count the number of weeks left on one hand, I am reminded of the sadness that you bring. I am busy wrapping things up at my service site, trying to prepare so that my leaving is a smooth one for my coworkers. I am doing “last things” in Hartford, trying to spend as much time as I can with my community members and others with whom we have made close connections.
Time is slipping by. Sometimes, Goodbye, I think you do this on purpose. Time speeds up as you draw near. Clients at Community Meals frequently ask when my last day is; they know I must leave soon, and they want to be prepared. “I can’t believe you have to go!” they say.
I can’t believe it either.
You know, Goodbye, that I have a tough time accepting you. Every time I open up my computer, the following quote by A.A. Milne greets me: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” You know I need to see this now more than ever, to be reminded that even though you bring me sadness, you aren’t all bitterness.
Goodbye, you are a reminder of how wonderful life and love are. Your coming closer forces me to remember the good times and the challenges, the growth I have experienced and the many, many things I have learned. You prompt me to look back on this beautiful year of service with MVC and recognize how I have been changed by the helping relationships I have made with clients (with help and growth on both sides), by the connections I have made with coworkers at Hands on Hartford, and by the family time I have spent with my community members. You show me that all of the things that make saying goodbye so hard mean I am truly blessed.
And without you, Goodbye, how would I ever get to feel the sweetness of Hello, or Hello Again. Although leaving Hartford will be hard, I know that on the other side of you, Goodbye, I get to say Hello Again to home, and family and friends I left there. And then, I get to say a brand-new Hello to the adventure of graduate school.
Goodbye, it is not easy to accept you, especially the bitterness that you bring. But I recognize that you also bring sweetness too. You bring the close of experiences that are coming to an end at their appointed time to make way for new adventures. Your coming does not mean an end of the connections I have made here, nor does it take away from the growth I have felt here; it only signals a change in them. Goodbye, I am sorry if I dread you at times, because I know that you are beautiful too, for you remind me of how blessed I am.
Goodbye, I remain,
Alex Pierlott: Hartford, CT