Goodbyes Are Never Easy, but They Are Part of Life

Columnist Katie Griffith bids readers farewell with a message of love and hope

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by Katie Griffith |

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It’s the time of year when we begin to catch little glimpses of changes coming — a breeze blowing unexpectedly, cool morning air, leaves starting to fall. I’ve learned after my 43 years on this earth that seasons change. Even though the summer days are still long and hot, they won’t last forever. Autumn is coming with its changing leaves and cooler temperatures. Soon we will be saying goodbye to summer!

Life is the same way. Change is inevitable. I wrote in a previous column about continuing on even when it feels like you can’t take another step. I had no idea when I wrote that back in June that the very next week my husband would suddenly pass away.

Even as I type that, it is so hard to comprehend that it is true. I feel like I have been living in a nightmare for the past couple of months. Life was hard before, and now, it seems almost unbearable.

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processing grief | Friedreich's Ataxia News | Main graphic for column titled

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In times like these, I need my own words to go back to and draw strength from. When my son, Noah, was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia in 2018, life felt overwhelming and hopeless. Slowly, day by day, my family and I found our way and were able to find glimmers of hope.

Author K.J. Ramsey, who suffers with an autoimmune disease, wrote in a recent Facebook post about the intermingling of joy and grief: “Two things can be true at the same time. Grief does not cancel out goodness. Hurt does not silence all hope.”

When we are blinded by our grief, it feels as though we will never be happy again. I’m here to tell you — and remind myself — that goodness is still out there. Hope will catch you by surprise in moments when you may not even be looking.

Goodbyes are a part of life. We can do our very best to stay the same and avoid change, but it just isn’t possible. People move, jobs change, relationships dissolve, and life ends. There is something bigger than any one of us, and when we finally realize that we aren’t in control and just surrender, it can bring peace.

Morgan Harper Nichols, a poet who always seems to know how to so eloquently capture what I’m thinking, tweeted in 2018:

“When you find yourself trying to put into words what you never thought you’d have to say, and you are saying goodbye to things you never imagined would go away, perhaps this can be the moment you collapse into grace: glorious unmerited favor that says even here, you’ll be okay.”

As I move on with my life and pursue other career opportunities, I must say goodbye to my readers. Thank you for taking the time to hear my thoughts and ramblings over this past year. One day, I hope we meet in person and can offer fresh hope to each other. Life is hard but there is beauty to be found.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” — 2 Corinthians 4:16

Note: Friedreich’s Ataxia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Friedreich’s Ataxia News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Friedreich’s ataxia.


Misty Judson avatar

Misty Judson

I am so sorry for the loss of your husband, Katie. Thank you for sharing from your heart and your words beautifully express hope in the midst of pain. Praying now for God to send morsels of encouragement as you embark on your next journey.

Katie Griffith avatar

Katie Griffith

Thank you so much, Misty!


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