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Seasons come and seasons go. And this is much easier to accept when we see it coming and can say our proper goodbyes beforehand. Yet life doesn’t always give us this luxury and we must still learn to grieve and accept the reality of loss even when there are no goodbyes.  

Graduations can mark the end of school. And we might have a last conversation after a breakup, or a going-away party before we move. Whatever the case, there’s a smoother transition into the next season when we have the time to acknowledge an ending. 

But life can be unpredictable and tragic. Our position might be terminated, a person might walk out of our life, or a loved one might die without giving us the chance to say goodbye. This is not fair. It’s not how it should be. And yet, at times, this is how it is. 

Initially, we do well to be angry, as anger acknowledges the injustice of the moment. But our anger still cannot change what is. And we must also allow ourselves to grieve to accept reality on its own terms. 

And in our grief we find our own ways to mark the ending of a season and say our goodbyes.  While this is less than ideal and waves of anger will still likely surface, this allows us to find the freedom needed to live well. Otherwise, our anger and disappointment turns into bitterness and resentment. And we’re more prone to get stuck – constantly wondering what we could’ve done to get a different outcome or at least end on better terms. 

And, to be sure, there’s a reminder here not to take the time we have for granted. But sometimes life sucks and we must still have the courage to find our way forward. 

In the end, it’s okay to be angry and sad when you don’t get to say your proper goodbyes. But pray also for the grace and peace to accept reality on its own terms – freeing your heart to enter the next season that still arrives with or without your permission.

Photo by Esperanza Doronila on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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