Goodbyes and Gratitude

Grace DeMun
December 10, 2015

We had our final dinner this week. It has been so bizarre to be saying goodbye to all of these folks here in Dublin—I hear myself say goodbye, and give people hugs, but I don’t feel like it’s real. I feel like I’ll see them again next week, and not (potentially) many months from now! It’s truly surreal, and equally sad.

The staff at Spirasi were so, so kind to me and the other intern, Samantha, who’s also been working there this past semester, when we went in for our last day today. Spirasi was having their annual Christmas party and all the students were gathered in one of the classrooms to hear speakers and, for some, to receive certificates for graduating! It was very sweet and heartwarming to see these students who had worked so hard this past semester finally get the recognition they deserved. Once the certificates had been passed out, Andreas, our supervisor, called me and Samantha up to the front of the room and presented us with cards as a thank you for our work at the organization. After such an emotional time this past week saying goodbye to everyone, it really made me feel so in awe and inspired to know that I had made, even if it was small, some kind of a difference in the lives of these folks while I have been here. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. It was, really, the perfect way to end my time at Spirasi.

Now that everything’s coming to a close, everyone has been asking me what I want to do with my last few days here in Dublin. They say, “Oh, so are you going to go check out the last few places you’ve had on your bucket list?” or, “Are you going to go get that last pint before you leave?” But what I have been telling them is that I have done everything that I had wanted to do in Dublin, plus some. I feel like I came to Ireland with little anticipation to travel or explore as much as I have, and I equally had no idea how attached I would become to the place and to the people. So when anyone asks me what I want to do on my last couple days here, I tell them, “I’m going to spend it with my friends I’ve made, in the city that I have come to love and make my home.” That’s all that matters to me; that I spend the last couple days with the people and in the place that I love.

Dublin, you have made your way into my heart. You’ve changed me, you’ve stabilized me, you’ve made me a better person, and you’ve made me a stronger person. I feel absolutely privileged and grateful to be able to have spent the last three months here. There’s really little else that I can say but thank you.

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Grace DeMun

<p>Hailing from Tacoma, WA, I&#39;m a English Literature and Psychology major who is thoroughly excited to be traveling an studying in Ireland in the fall. I&#39;ve lived my whole life in the PNW, so I&#39;m interested to see what this new adventure will bring (although weather-wise it seems pretty similar!) I love music and dancing (badly) and I have loved reading and stories for as long as I can remember. I draw the most inspiration and creative juices from experiencing new things and ideas, so I know I&#39;ll be bursting with words to be written and stories to be told during the four months I&#39;m away from home.</p>

2015 Fall
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Pacific Lutheran University
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