People leave. In the past few weeks, I’ve said farewell to a wonderful family in our neighborhood who has moved across the country for a work opportunity. I’ve packed up and kissed goodbye my Collegian as she sets up in an apartment in the Hub. I came to work one day to learn a close colleague had left our company. And, I’ve been visiting as much as I can my beloved sister-in-law as she endures the final stage of her terminal illness.
Coaching is about “purposeful action.” However, I am feeling like things are happening to me, or in spite of me—not because I have chosen these departures. It is hard to be left behind!
The purpose of this blog is to examine that truth: it is hard to be left behind. There is sadness, there is hurt. There of course can be happiness, especially when someone is launching out in the fulfillment of their dreams, but the one “left behind” feels the departure differently. And when there is abrupt change, or imminent death, there is grief.
The coaching opportunity for the one left behind is to take care. I need to seek out and fortify my environment with caring others. I need to identify and respect my feelings in the wake of all these departures. I need to allow time to assist me–instead of me “squeezing” everything I can out of time!
A coach approach afforded me the realization that because it is this hard for me, it is likely hard for others who are left behind, too. Therefore, I need to be more gentle, and more attentive, to others too. That is the purposeful action which is required when one is left behind: care.