Shannon has been my best friend since seventh grade. She is four years older than me, but in spite of that our friendship has become one of the strongest I have ever encountered. Which is why I was startled when she decided to move to Chicago two years ago. I wasn’t sure how I would go through my summers without my best friend. Millions of thoughts were filling my head and I panicked. Who would go to the movies with me, or go shopping with me? At first I couldn’t help but be upset, as selfish as seems, but then I started to look at the situation in a different light and realized that this is what she needed more than anything. She wanted to pursue a career in youth leadership, and at North Park University, she could do just that. When I got to visit her this summer I saw she was there for a reason. She was touching so many lives, it was obvious this was where she was meant to be. It was then that I realized that the cliché’ line I heard over and over again as a child was one that I was beginning to believe myself, that if you love someone you have to let them go.
To let go of a loved one can be one of the hardest, yet most rewarding experience in life. Everybody in the world, whether it is a parent, friend, or sibling will face this difficult task. Even other species must face this. For example, a mother bear leaves her cubs once she feels that they are ready to face the wilderness by themselves, it’s their instinct. Unfortunately, pushing the “cubs” out of the den is not as easy for humans. We build relationships and attachments to each other and then when the time comes for one to move on, not everyone is ready.
I recall the moment when I left for college. My mom was a mess. She wasn’t ready for me to leave her with an empty nest. However, she knew it was the best decision for me. So, she hugged me goodbye and whispered, “I love you.” Then and there she was showing how much she loved me by letting me go.
So when the day comes when a friend is moving away or you find yourself dropping your kids off at college remember, if you love someone let them go. Let them gain new and experiences they never had before. I guarantee that you will miss them from time to time, but once it’s all said and done you will see how much they have accomplished. Eventually, you will be able to look back and realize that it was all for the best. Just like I realized it when Shannon moved and my mom realized it when I left for college. You too will understand that letting them go is one of most selfless and beautiful acts a person can do.