Hard to Say Goodbye

It’s really hard to say goodbye sometimes.

Years ago my sister Heather said that it’s sad when we lose a member of the family, but it’s especially sad when we lose “one of the good ones.”

Therefore I am deeply saddened to report that we had a death in our family yesterday, one of the good ones.

As a scientist and a writer, it’s natural for me to seek a definition. In my estimation a “good person” is someone who is kind, loving, generous, thoughtful, and very, very giving of their full heart and soul. By those metrics, and many more, yesterday we lost one of the good ones.

Moments like these remind us of those who have fallen before us, and those who will follow after us. We gaze inward, disturbed by our own weaknesses, but proud of our few strengths. We seek to reinforce those strengths, to emulate those precious qualities that made our loved ones so dear, and we rejoice in discovering those qualities in our offspring. We take pride that they have learned those good lessons and absorbed them into their personal character.

Thus, even though our hearts are full and our burdens are heavy, we are thankful for the memories of those we have lost, the legacies they have given us, and the knowledge that, by their example, our kids and grand kids will make this world a brighter place.