Archive for the ‘Goodbye’ Category

Service of Goodbye II: Nurses and Teachers Saying Adios to Children

Monday, June 24th, 2019


Goodbyes are one of my least favorite things which is why I’ve broached the subject head-on only twice in the 11 years I’ve written this blog.


I marvel at the glowing faces of hospital nurses as they wave goodbye to children leaving for home. I’ve seen this in news clips or documentaries. Many of the nurses have helped bring the tots, some under their care for months if not years, back from the brink of death. Yet they also don’t want to see their patients return to the hospital for treatment.

I’ve thought: “How do they feel losing contact with the little ones they must have become attached to?”

You can’t know the emotions of a stranger you’ve never spoken with, but Leanne Sowul‘s blog post, “The Perpetual Goodbye,” shares a glimpse at how others, who share the lives of children, feel when the kids move on.

She wrote about this year’s au revoir to the fifth graders she taught in band for two years in 60 small group lessons and 85 rehearsals. “I’ve gotten to know many of them quite well, and I’m going to miss them very much.”


She continued: “It’s something that isn’t discussed much in teaching circles: the perpetual need to say goodbye. We talk about the stress of the end of the year, how crazy the students get when the weather turns warm, and how much we can’t wait to relax. Sometimes we say, ‘This was a good group of kids. I’m going to miss them.’ But we don’t really talk about the deep loss we feel. We swallow it and move on. It’s the nature of the job.”

My first grade teacher, Miss Woods, would look right through you if you saw her in the hall once you moved to second grade and beyond. I was told that she had lost her own child which is why she did that–she didn’t want deep connection with her students.

Sowul continued: “That’s how it is when you’re a teacher: the students move on, and you’re supposed to stay the same. But you’re not the same. You’re different, because they’ve changed you.

“It’s like having your kids grow up and move away every single year. It’s not something that gets easier with time. In some ways, as you become a better teacher and learn to connect better with kids, it gets harder.”

It’s not just children that nurses and teachers miss nor are these two professions exclusive in this aspect of a job. What are some others? Why don’t teachers address and admit the loss among themselves?


Service of Goodbye

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

goodbye 2

Goodbyes make me cry so I avoid the personal kind when possible. “I hate goodbyes,” said Bette Davis to Paul Henri in “Now Voyager,” which was on Turner Classic Movies last Sunday morning. Unless you’re escaping a horrible job or a dreadful house, apartment or neighborhood, I can’t be far wrong to guess that most agree.



I admire people who handle them well and hide their feelings in public because I can’t. Take Hillary Clinton’s concession speech. Wow. I thought President Clinton was on the verge as she spoke but she soldiered on without a hiccup. Between exhaustion, shock and disappointment, I don’t know how she controlled her emotions. The day after the election our office was a funeral parlor.

Gwen Ifill Photo:

Gwen Ifill Photo:

I started to write this post before I learned that the valiant Gwen Ifill died. What a hole in the media landscape she leaves. Her smile was genuine. I met her at a New York Women in Communications event and she was as lovely closeup as her image regardless of the unimportance of the person she was speaking with [unlike other media stars I’ve met at the same event, who will remain unnamed].

There have recently been other goodbyes, though not as permanent as Gwen’s nor as prominent as Secretary Clinton’s, and I predict very soon there will be countless more not only at the White House. The Wall Street Journal is shrinking its “Greater New York” section to a page or two and as a result, last week Ralph Gardner Jr. wrote his last “Urban Gardner” column, “The Pleasure Was All Mine–Ralph.” I’ve enjoyed his discoveries and will miss reading about the quirky things he discovered. In the same issue, columnist Marshall Heyman, “Heard and Scene,” bid readers adieu in “At the Close of a Column, Confessions of a Party Critic.” They are victims of the crisis newspaper publishers face.  I loved the full “Greater New York section.

Bill Plante. Photo:

Bill Plante. Photo:

On Sunday, on Face the Nation, John Dickerson said goodbye to the retiring Bill Plante, senior White House correspondent, who joned CBS in 1964.

The old saying “all good things must come to an end,” doesn’t make loss any easier. Whether it’s personal–when a friend moves away or a favorite colleague changes jobs–or the end of a beloved TV series, or as the result of retirement or firing of a favorite columnist, reporter, TV anchor or defeat of a choice of president, what do you do to readjust?

Goodbye 1

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