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A Good Goodbye  

When you're two, being with Grandma and Grandpa is cool.

When you're ten—not so much.

Tim was at that awkward stage but never failed to hug his grandparents every visit. Wishing to reinforce good behavior, I once told him, "You know, I love the way you give such great hugs to Grandma and Grandpa. That's very nice of you! And I know they love, it too."

Timmy's reply: "Well, they won't be around forever. Someday they're going to die" (umm…a bit blunt, I thought). But what he said next, I have never forgotten: "That's why I always give a good goodbye."

Ironically, the elusive nature of life seems to elude most of us "sophisticated" adults. Proverbs 27:1 advises, "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring." And James 4:14 reminds, "You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." Meaning—you and I had better learn what it means to give a "good goodbye."

On a hot September night, I heard the echo of that ten-year-old boy's commitment to a "good goodbye" above the beeps and blips of medical equipment in an intensive care room. His wisdom prompted me to grab my mom's hand and stroke her arm. I told her I loved her. I quoted Psalms 91 and prayed with her. And then I kissed her goodbye.

My last.

But at least it was a good goodbye.

Let me ask you a question. When someone you love leaves, do you give them a good goodbye? Really? Is it the kind of goodbye you would be okay with if you never had another shot at it? If that phone call came in the middle of the night bearing the most shocking news, would you be okay with your last goodbye of a week or two ago? Standing there at the casket, would your previous goodbye comfort you, or would it haunt you?

If not, there's still time. Today. Now! So pick up the phone. Make that call. Send them a card or email or text!

Give everyone you love the gift of a good goodbye. And give it again every time as if each visit is the last. Because someday, it will be.



Lots more wisdom from kids to be found in the book, Kids Sayt the Wisest Things.  Get it half-off this Friday!




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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016