Friday, June 29, 2012

Remind me Again, It's a Celebration, right?

I have been reminded this week that change, in the form of retirement, is just as scary for those left behind as it is for those who are retiring.

Sure, it is a lot more traumatic for the retiree--but to those who have to go back to work Monday morning and face the empty office, it can be a lot like having attended a funeral rather than a celebration. And I believe that funerals are celebrations, too.

There is a lot of joy for the person who successfully made it to the ed of a stellar career and gets to enjoy the next best part of life without having to get up at Oh-dark-thirty, before the birds even wake up, to ply the choked highways and make their rush hour impeded way to the job site. I am really happy that someday, too, I will be able to stay home instead of forcing my ever dragging self out of bed.

But the grief of the loss of a great leader or a good friend, left unchecked, could turn the celebration of a successful career into a morose funeral.

Yesterday, I attended the celebration of a career.

Speeches were given, mementos were presented, and pictures were taken to permanently record the moment.

And it was a celebration. It was exciting to attend and hear so many anecdotes about someone that I have worked closely with for the past three years as he coasts into the last day of his career. I even had the opportunity to add a story to the festivities.

But--Monday morning, the office across the hall will be empty and it will soon be filled by someone new.

Change is hard.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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