Early grieving = when you’re sad about some way-in-the-future (but-also-inevitable) event. Early grieving is a tiny bit of a problem, because it can interfere with your enjoyment of the here and now.
I can’t say whether or not my friend Tara‘s husband Troy made up this term, but the YouTube video of him singing about Tara early-grieving their daughter Paige leaving the nest for college? One of my favorites ever. I’ve probably watched it 10 times. In fact, I’m going to go watch it again. Hold on.
“… and now someone’s screaming downstairs…” I die.
So grieving. I’m starting to do it. And it’s not really early grieving, because we’re leaving for Cambodia (God willing) in just the tiniest bit over three months.
And we’re moving out of our apartment in two.
I am starting to freak out and get sad and think of all the people I’m going to miss and how permanent this move is and how much I love the people we live with and go to church with and share blood and last names with.
And I want so badly to say good-bye well. And I’m afraid I won’t. That I’ll run out of time. That all the people I love won’t know how much I love them. That they’ll forget us. Or feel forgotten by us.
I want them to know that just because we love Cambodia and feel called there and have longed for this day doesn’t mean that we (I) don’t cry into my pillow sometimes at the thought of being so far away for so long.
My tendency is to disengage and push away and make the leaving “easier” by putting distance between me and other people ahead of time. (and sometimes, I can feel people doing this with us–totally don’t blame them for a second)
So. I’ve been trying to engage. And be present. And be joyful. And give out lots of hugs. And kind words. And just be with people. And slow down time. And yeah.
I’m just asking God to help me say good-bye well. Please, God, help me say good-bye well.
And… cue the tears (mine, not yours). (you’re welcome to cry too if you want though)
Question for you: If someone you loved (friend, family member, whoever) was leaving to go far away for a pretty long time, what could they do that would make you feel loved before they go (and while they’re gone)?