The counselors said goodbye and left. One by one, over the course of the past twenty-four hours, they trickled out. It’s always sad to see them go, and yet, it’s the kind of sad that comes from having loved. There’s that old familiar ache of having loved a part of life, never to be lived again. But you lived it, and you lived it well. You finished the race.
The ache is your reward. It’s your heart growing bigger and stronger, deeper and wider, more experienced and more compassionate. You’ve been through this before, and because you have, your heart helps hold together the other breaking, opening hearts. You let the tears come when you need to, let the sadness come and the gratitude follow.
And then you do the next thing.