Holden Voices: Blog

Poems, stories, and reflections, written by faculty, staff, and volunteers currently serving in the Village.

CALLIE MABRY: Departures

May 25, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Day 71

Goodbyes are a part of life. But that doesn’t make them easy.

As I was getting settled at the beginning of my time here at Holden Village, several people warned me that the constant onslaught of close relationships followed by tearful goodbyes would be one of the most challenging aspects of living here.

Even when we have known someone’s departure date for a long time, and have been helping them check adventures off their Holden Bucket list; even when we go through the rituals of give-aways, Hot Seat questions, and singing the Prayer of Good Courage, I’m never prepared for a little piece of my heart to be carried down the mountain and away from this place by a dear friend.

Goodbyes are tough even under the best of circumstances; they are so much harder when we can’t gather as a community to embrace each other in a giant group hug.

And devastatingly, so many people have had to say goodbye in the worst of circumstances recently. Yesterday, many of us held space for grief with people who have been unable to gather to mourn loved ones lost to the pandemic by listening to the National Council of Churches service. Even though we had to keep our physical distance on Chalet Hill, it was powerful to see and hear community supporting one another.

Goodbyes are “brutiful” – a term used by author Glennon Doyle to describe how parts of life can be beautiful and brutal at the same time. Brutal, because we grieve the absence of someone or something in our life, but beautiful, because we cherish those moments we had together.

In peace,

Callie Mabry is Writer/Editor at Holden Village. This column was originally published on May 25, 2020 in a daily newsletter, "The Quarantine Quarter," which is compiled by various staff members and sent to all Villagers.

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