The art of letting go is a delicate skill. I don’t believe anyone comes into the world knowing how to “hold and release.” Letting go is a choice. It is learned, and very rarely does the one making the release get to practice before the test. Nine times out of ten, it’s a matter of swallowing the un-swallowable and prying a body part lose—whether finger-by-finger or heart-string-by-string.
Letting go gracefully is a paradox among virtues. In every other instance of life—at least all the instances that I care about, passion is the key: the act of caring enhances your ratio of success. But in this one lonely place—the launching pad for goodbyes—indifference is a help. Whether resigning a beloved profession, driving away from a long-treasured home, or relinquishing a lifelong love… each of these things demands a certain amount of care-less attitude in order to survive the goodbye.
I am currently letting go of a child now grown and leaving. I’ve done it before (I actually did get to practice with each of the first three), but it doesn’t grow easier. Prying a mother’s arms lose from any one of her “babies” means foregoing the credit she’s actually earned for the sake of someone else’s glory. (After all, how did he really get to be so smart and good-looking?) But every goodbye requires it’s pound of flesh, and rarely does it feel like a pound you can afford to lose.