Take Your Leave

“Parting is such sweet sorrow…” (William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet). There are three reasons for sorrow (without sweetness) in parting ways:

1) Unresolved conflicts

2) Unwillingness of one party or the other to separate

3) Damages incurred by leave taking.

I have been through several relocations, employment situations, a divorce, and the death of close family members.  I have parted with friends, employers, lovers, and family more often than I have cared to.  All of these relationships did or would have derived the beneficial result of “sweet sorrow” with resolution of the three elements above.

Unresolved conflicts, on the surface, disappear with the dissolving of conflictor/conflictee interactions. Differences may arise after a relationship is over causing previous disagreements to surface and impact new relationships. Not all conflicts are resolvable, but agreements can be reached to not enter in to further confrontations. “Let sleeping dogs lie” is an old idiom that works well when ending a relationship of any kind. I have found that I will never forget the troubles my ex-husband and I went through while we were married, but I have been divorced for over eight years and I find new romantic relationships are always better if I leave the past in the past.

If there is unwillingness on either side to leave and part ways, it is almost always necessary to make the reality of accepting parting clear and definable to the unwilling party. When my brother died from diabetes, I did not want him to part with this Earth, but it was an easier path to travel after I accepted the inevitability of the eventuality of his deathbed.  Acceptance of leaving is not synonymous with wanting a leave taking to occur. Abrupt departures from any form of relationship do not have room for acceptance or give any form of comfort from the capability to prepare.

At times, leave taking may cause heavy physical, emotional, and social damages.   This is never a “win, win” situation and can turn into bitter wars that will not end.  Vindictive, spiteful punishments or attempts to pay back pain and suffering are not just detrimental to the party attacked. I have found that to destroy is to be destroyed is more often the case. However, a refusal to engage in self-defense does not lessen hatred or turn aside an enemy (usually).  Responsibility is a key requirement in preventing extensive damages from leave taking. If the separation is handled with consideration for joint and individual responsibilities and responsible behavior is maintained in difficult situations, then parting damages are minimized and most parties will walk away in decent shape. Moving day always meant that the responsibilities in place and the responsibilities needed ahead were ended, accounted for, and planned. It is not easy to part ways. As I get older, I wish less to leave for the next path forward and I wish more to remain. When it is time, whatever path you are following, to take your leave- do it well.



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