I guess it has been about a month since my music therapy instruments graced the halls at Denver Health. The anticipation of my last day was overwhelming. I felt angry, frustrated, sad, relieved, accomplished and sentimental. The funny thing to me is that I thought I would miss it more. Don’t get me wrong, when I hear a song that one of my regulars would request, I reminisce. I miss those moments. I miss the laughter from depressed adults who haven’t cracked a smile in months. I miss hearing from a staff member that a certain teenager hasn’t spoken to anyone until I showed up to do music therapy. Those times are special. But in our profession, many of us have said goodbye many times. Funding drops and music gets cut all too often. After years of advocacy…..years of bliss…..years of struggle.
Is it better to shrug your shoulders and say,”oh well. This always happens. Gotta move on.” Or should we stop and retain some sentimentality during the goodbye? This can be difficult for someone like me who gets sentimental over everything! Many times I have to separate myself so that I will maintain my composure. So what is the best way to say goodbye? It will be different for everybody!
If you can maintain your composure, then be sentimental! Soak up every second of your last day or last time with a client that is leaving. Talk about it.
But if you are like me, and you are on the verge of tears, it may be best to treat it like any other day. Say your goodbyes quickly and go. Chances are the last day will be difficult but given time, life will go on.
My life has moved on. A month ago I couldn’t see myself without Denver Health. But now I don’t think about it anymore. Life has been filled with new and exciting things. Saying goodbye is not something we should dread. Embrace it because it means another chapter of your life is about to open up!