A Graceful Goodbye

We were at a "going away" party given in our honor as we prepared to move cross-country where I had taken a new job. As the party wound down, a good friend stopped by on his way out and casually said, "My prayer for you is that you end well and start well." I thanked him.

It was not until later, reflecting on the night's activities, that I remembered Gary's comment. The more I thought about it, the more it stirred me. What does it mean to end well?

I began to collect the lessons, suggestions, and wisdom others had learned from leaving. I offer a few that frequently emerged as wise and helpful.

Now thank we all


Perhaps the first lesson in ending well is to be generous in your praise, quick to offer a blessing, and thorough in your expressions of appreciation to those you leave behind.

One of the goals of any ending should be to identify those who have given to you, supported you, or partnered with you. In specific ways, remind and thank them for their gifts of service, kindness, and love. This ...

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