We live in a culture of rushing. Passing through life without recognizing and acknowledging transitions causing pain or loss. Whenever we leave one place for another, even if it’s a positive move, we feel loss. Recognize it. Acknowledge it.

There’s grief in moving

On Monday, a friend and I met for tea. We both ordered Kombucha, the newest drink fad in Portland, OR.

As we sat sipping tea in the sunshine, we talked about her upcoming move to Washington for her husband’s job. This was our farewell-for-now visit.

She described her anticipated new life in a new place. She listed all the practical positive reasons for moving.

Then I asked, “Have you said good-bye to your home yet? There’s grief in moving.”

Rushing distracts from grief

She stopped. After the silence, she said, “When I leave a home, I’m always rushing out the door. Rushing to catch a plane or drive to the new address to meet the movers. I wonder if my rushing distracts me from the grief of leaving?”

“Aha!” We both breathed, then laughed. She recognized her grief.

Recognizing loss isn’t always obvious. There are ‘little losses’ throughout the day. Spilling coffee on your shirt on your way to work. Losing ‘your place’ in the parking garage.

Rushing, rushing, rushing. While the losses pile up.

“Oh, and by the way, I’m moving.”

“I’m leaving this house that’s been my home for the past five years.” This is a big loss. Could the vague feeling of emptiness be a call to recognize and acknowledge loss? To feel the grief of this transition?’

My friend and I began to talk about the things she’ll miss. The trellis with climbing honeysuckle. Her spacious covered patio where we’ve gathered for years to celebrate July 4th. Tears flowed and released her sadness. She acknowledged her love for her home and began to breathe deeper.

“How do you want to leave your home this time?” I asked.

“I want to say an intentional good-bye.”

“Alone or with friends?”

“It would be nice to do it with friends.”

Immediately we flashed on her ‘Wednesday Wine Nights.’ Friends gather over wine; to sometimes whine and always to celebrate.

So, we quickly began planning her final “Wednesday Wine Night.” Ringing bells in all the nooks and crannies to bid this home farewell.

What about you?

Are you rushing from one place to the next? Or, are you taking time to recognize pain and loss in your transitions? Really allowing yourself to name it as Loss and then Relate to it. Slow down. Feel it. Stop rushing to avoid the pain of loss – it’s part of self-care during transitions.

Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,