Home CFB Borden Chaplain’s Corner: A “Good” Goodbye

Chaplain’s Corner: A “Good” Goodbye

The first group of soldiers, mostly from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, return to Canada after completing Roto 6 of Operation UNIFIER, April 4, 2019, at Jean-Lesage Airport, Quebec, Qc. (Trooper Marc-André Leclerc/ VL05-2019-0019-002)

This time year brings not only warmer weather and plans for summer leave, but it is also filled with departure events as we lean into our Annual Posting Season.

We emphasize beginnings: we hope to get started on the right foot and make a good first impression. We don’t spend as much time reflecting upon what it means to have a “good” goodbye. Saying goodbye doesn’t need to be complicated – it needs attention and intention.

A few weeks ago, I went through this transition. I left the team I had worked with for the last two and a half years to begin a new adventure. This was an important transition to name and here are some things to keep in mind as you say goodbye to friends and colleagues in the healthiest way possible.

Pick the right timing so that goodbyes aren’t cut short or stretched out too. This may differ based on your unit’s battle rhythm. Name that there is an ending and take time to connect with people to express gratitude for their collegiality and friendship. Bring projects to a close, prepare handover notes, and leave instructions all while knowing, whoever takes it up next may approach it from a different angle. Lastly, and perhaps most important, is that goodbyes can bring forward many emotions – anger, sadness, relief, joy, anxiety – let them arise with compassion in this time of transition. It can help to name the emotions and to share how you are feeling with a friend, a loved one, a sentinel, or a chaplain.

Over these next few months, may we all do our part to contribute to “good” goodbyes for ourselves and for one another.

By: Chaplain (Lt) Nicole McKay