Leaving Cards


Leaving Cards

A leaving card with a footpath says it all. In this case it is an avenue of cherry trees in blossom and a person walking along the footpath and moving out of the frame, and text ‘Sorry You’re Leaving’.

Leaving is a time of regret and optimism. The people who are not leaving regret the loss of the company of the person leaving. The person leaving has a sense of regret for things left behind. At the same time there is optimism for pastures new.

That’s what we have in the Pastures card, with the zebra turned away from the camera and grazing. The message is ‘The best of luck in pastures new’.

The Whither Shall I Wander Nursery Rhyme

The goose in the Greylag card asks ‘Whither shall I wander?’ It is, of course, a line from the rhyme that starts goosey, goosey, gander. Here’s the rhyme in all its Middle Ages full-on admonition to say one’s prayers or face the consequences.

Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady’s chamber.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn’t say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stairs

The prayers in question are Protestant and not Catholic, according to studies that link the rhyme with the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. It was Henry VIII who disbanded the monasteries, and the priories, convents and friaries.

Nowadays we just remember the words and not the historical context. So ‘whither shall I wander’ is fitting for someone who is leaving but hasn’t yet got a destination. If the transition is disconcerting, the person is said to be in a liminal place. It’s the uncomfortable feeling of knowing one cannot stay, but not knowing where one is going.

Wish Them Well

Whatever the circumstances, it is always a nice idea to send or give the person leaving a card to wish them well. It shows your appreciation for them as a person and tells them you are sorry they are leaving.

Moving on is part of life, but saying goodbye to co-workers can be a tough experience. Especially if you’ve grown close to the person or it’s a small office where their absence will be noticed.

After all, day-to-day you’re probably spending more time with this colleague than you do with your own family.

Sorry You’re Leaving

So, we have a Spinone who says ‘Sorry You’re Leaving’ and a brown bear who says the same thing. Then we have the hares haring off in one direction, and one hare leaving and going elsewhere in the opposite direction.

These leaving cards get straight to the point. The ‘sorry’ of regret is not the hardest word when a person is leaving. It is quite unlike the ‘sorry’ I did something wrong. How did we come to use the same word for both meanings in the English language?

Finally, for a humorous take we have a jail break with the same words. And we have ‘Curls’ a classical bust of a man with eyes raised to heaven and saying ‘So sorry you are leaving’. One can send this to a colleague with a sense of humour who knows that you care for them very much.

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