I attended EvolVR’s Saying Goodbye event for the first time when I had something really big to say goodbye to. I had heard praise from others and I felt called to the spirit of the event, even before I knew what to expect. I had a feeling it would offer me an informal ceremony, and some willing witnesses, for me to make a strong intention to let something go, that was proving to be very difficult to let go of.
It offered me that, and more.
Divorce is so prevalent these days that I felt a bit embarrassed that going through my parents’ divorce — not as a child but a fully grown-up person — was so earth-shattering. My parents, my sister and I had a very special bond, and even though the warning signs were all there, I was utterly gutted when they finally went through with it.
What disturbed me the most was that my parents were supposed to be in the last couple chapters of their lives, and the idea of them breaking something that long-standing (40 years) and rebuilding at that point in their lives, broke my heart.
So I attended the event, hosted by Tom, set in a peaceful zen garden. I arrived, not knowing exactly what to do or say. It wasn’t long before I felt at ease, as friendly and familiar (avatar) faces spawned into the world. These were the familiar faces of friends — real friends — that I had grown to feel a lot of affection for in the last few months, during which I had found a sense of belonging in the EvolVR community.
Most of the attendees were there simply to listen, to act as kind and supportive witnesses to the others, who were letting go of things big and small. It all mattered. It was all valued and respected and held with kind attention.
When it was my turn, I found myself expressing my grief, my sorrow, my worry. With a swell of emotion, I articulated my intention to let go of the idea of my parents growing old together and taking care of each other; the idea of the four of us gathering in the same way we always had; the attachment to what our family was supposed to look and feel like; the worry that my parents would spend the rest of their lives mending their shattered hearts in desperate loneliness. I say goodbye. To all that
After I said goodbye, some friends gently reminded me that with a goodbye comes an opportunity to say hello to something new. Something is lost, but there’s space for something different to arise. Never the same, but not necessarily worse, just different. Endings are ultimately transformations. And so the cycle goes on.
I know that my family’s healing journey will take time and that attending one event isn’t going to make the rest of the journey full of rainbows and butterflies, but I do feel that it was pivotal in some way. It marked something important. Just as Tom described the fireball he conjures at the close of each event, it punctuated something. For me, it helped me acknowledge, name, and make an intention to let go of an attachment to an idea. It helped me pivot toward a new leg of the journey.
I’ve only managed to make it back to the event once again after that day. But each and every day, I feel deep gratitude for the EvolVR community, session leaders and members alike. I look forward to attending Saying Goodbye again and taking my turn as a quiet witness.