Goodbyes are hard.
Tonight, I had to say goodbye to a priest who has become a father to me. This is the fourth time that I’ve had to say goodbye to him in the last year, but instead of getting easier, I find that each goodbye does more damage to my heart than the last. This goodbye is made especially hard by the fact that this time, there is no time frame for when I will see him again in this life. I don’t know when I will see him again, and so this goodbye has a finality to it that the others have not.
In two months, I have to say goodbye to another man who has become a friend, confidant, and brother to me. Like his brother priest, this man has been reassigned.
As I sat on a set of steps outdoors and wept after my goodbye tonight (realizing that another would be coming much sooner than I’d like), crying out in anguish to the Father in Heaven who sees each tear and feels my heartbreak, something occurred to me.
Goodbyes are hard for a reason, sisters.
Goodbyes remind us that we were not made for this world.
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So often I forget how temporary this world is. I allow myself to become satisfied with the material, with the perishable, rather than holding out for the eternal. And that, sisters, is when goodbyes become difficult.
In this world, all things must pass, including our relationships. Whether it’s the move of a best friend, the death of a spouse, the growing up of a child, the ending of a friendship, or the reassignment of a priest or religious we have grown close to, goodbyes will come, and they will hurt.
So let them, sisters. Let them hurt. Let them reawaken the ache in your souls for the eternal. For when we come to heaven’s shore, we will be reunited with all those that we loved and lost, and we will never, ever have to say goodbye again.
So I’m going to lean into this pain, sisters. I’m going to embrace these goodbyes, as hard as they are. I’m going to rejoice in the tears. I’m going to turn to our loving Father with an ache in my soul that only He can fill. I pray that the next time you have a tough goodbye, you do the same.
Catie Destatte is a 21 year old daughter of Christ and lover of life. She is a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville studying Theology and Catechetics. She loves Mary, tea, and white wine.