Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.



Contemplating this past week.

It’s been a long and reflective week, beginning Saturday morning when I woke to hear the news that former President Bush had died. My first response was a deep sadness for his family, particularly for his children. My second thought was joy that he was reunited with his beloved Barbara and daughter Robin.

I guess that’s typical, the intertwining of sadness with joy during times like this, the emotions washing up and even overlapping as you maneuver your way through the tasks that must be done to celebrate a life.

Being retired I was able to watch the last journey of the President’s body from lying in state at our Capital to the beautiful ceremony at the National Cathedral and then his flight to Texas and the train ride to his library and final resting place in Houston.

A bit of joyful color in the bleak winter landscape.

And I watched his children and their spouses as they stood time after time watching the transfer of the coffin, on and off planes and the train, into and out of buildings, up and down stairs, all the while being watched by an entire world. Showing their grief or holding it in. Probably exhausted and moving on adrenaline. It’s a lot to ask of anyone, to have such a prolonged and public goodbye.

I’m glad they had a private time together when they said their last goodbye at the library. And I hope today, the day after all the ceremony is done, I hope today they are spending time with each other quietly remembering, laughingly remembering, wistfully remembering.

Looking for simple beauty.

This holiday season will be the first without their parents. To lose booth of them within the same year is so hard. So much change in such a short time, celebrations will never be the same. This year, for sure, will have sad undertones.

But there’s that sneaky joy that will infiltrate too. At times when they least expect it they’ll hear Barbara or George’s voice, telling a story, singing a silly song, laughing at an old joke. They’ll see them in the food they prepare, family favorites or maybe not, if broccoli is on the menu.

But I like broccoli mama!

And little by little, over the months and years there will be more joy and less sad. And best of all, while the sadness recedes, their parents, grandparents, great grandparents will never be far away.

Today as I watch a gentle snow fall and listen to Christmas music I realize that it’s the same for all of us during the holidays. The losses are always there, but the love is always there too.

Let the light shine on you.

My wish for the Bush family is that they spend these precious days together in privacy and peace, certain of the gratefulness of their nation and of the love they will always share within their family. I wish for them a release from the tension and pressure of such a long and public goodbye.

Let your joy show through.

And I wish, for all of you, peaceful holidays too.

Live in the moment.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

17 thoughts on “Release

  1. Worth remembering: “The losses are always there, but the love is always there too.” Thanks for posting such a thoughtful reflection.

    Wishing you peace.


  2. This was so beautifully written, Dawn. Thank you. It brought tears to my eyes. I was able to watch the ceremony at the National Cathedral but had to miss yesterday’s ceremonies. All of it was so gracefully done and your words described it all so well. I never appreciated the true value of George H.W. Bush until his funeral and the authentic outpouring of love and respect from the family to their patriarch. Not a bit of it was phony. I would think that the Bush family would feel a great sense of peace along with their grief. They were blessed to have such a father and grandfather. What struck me the most was that this wasn’t just about a great patriot and public servant—a politician. But a beloved father and grandfather—and they shared him with us.


    • I’m sure there is more to the story than what we heard, but I do believe he was a decent man, and the family is full of class and grace. Even though I didn’t agree with all his politics you have to respect class and grace.


      • There us always more to the story. And plenty of people were sharing it even as he was being laid to rest. I don’t agree completely with any President’s politics…but it was nice to pause and appreciate the history and the passing of someone who, while not perfect, apparently did his best to serve this country. So thank you again for taking the high road.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful and thoughtful post, Dawn. ❤


  4. What delightful photos you’ve chosen and what an empathetic tribute you’ve posted here. I can’t fathom losing two parents in the space of a year — nor can I imagine grieving before the entire world. Takes lots of class and strength to weather such a trial. Having lost my own dad at the holiday time of year, I know how hard it can be. We lean on our faith and know that, one day, we’ll be together again.


  5. Beautiful post. I lost my Mum this year so it will be the first without both my parents. Today I bought a new ornament for my tree with red cardinals on it to remember them. Their love is never lost.


  6. Bush senior was never “my” president, but I was touched by how the world took farewell with him. Your post and its thoughts were very touching, too.


  7. This is beautiful. I really get your caring for the Bush family – and for all of us. So true how the love is always present. May you have a peace-filled year and so much joy, Dawn!
    Thank you for visiting my blog. So glad you did.


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