In this ending month of 2014 I have experienced small but sad endings of my own.
First, my dentist of 30 years retired; a fact which might not occasion any feeling on the part of most folks but I have a mouth full of stories, every tooth has its own special story written by this wonderful dentist. Of course, I wished him well once I recovered from the surprise but I missed his retirement party because I had not opened my mail for a week.
The greater surprise (bordering on shock) was the retirement of my breast cancer surgeon whom I have seen twice a year for over 25 years. He was the first doctor to perform lumpectomies in the state so I went to him on that basis, though I did opt for a mastectomy over the lumpectomy/radiation route. And I have never regretted that choice, not for even one second.
After my last appointment with him I was in tears. Loss of this nature, of someone I care for deeply, is treacherous water for me. “All the old losses reverberate, like bells run out of tune.” So I must be careful to process thoroughly the current pain without getting lost in the old pain.
And where do I end up after feeling such loss? In only the best place one could be—in a state of wondrous gratitude for the life of the person I have said goodbye to whether through death or retirement. The glass is always half full before it is half empty!