Goodbyes are hard. They’re even harder when you know they’re permanent. Even though I’ve only known the participants and staff of Hands of Wonder for six weeks, we’ve spent over a hundred hours together. I will miss each individual and the energy of the group. Most of all, it’s difficult not to know what happens in the next chapter of each teen’s life. However, I knew from the beginning that these relationships would come to an abrupt end at the close of the session, so at least I was prepared to say goodbye.
Hands of Wonder closes out each session with a final celebration, where staff and teens can literally enjoy some of the fruits of our labor. It is a chance to recognize each person for their contributions and look back over the last month and a half. To be able to say a final farewell is important for closure—if only we always got this chance in life.