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The hardest part wasn’t letting go, it was closing the door September 17, 2010

Posted by Phil Groom in Life.
Tags: , , ,

The hardest part wasn’t letting go, it was closing the door.

It tore me apart. 2pm: closing time. I fetched the display stands in then went to the door — and couldn’t close it. The finality hit me: this was the last time I’d be closing that door and I’d never be opening it again.

I stood outside. I wandered back in. I went out again. I went over to the reception desk, just across from the shop doorway, and made some small talk with Juliette, the receptionist. I couldn’t tell her what was wrong, just sort of looked at her and looked around hopelessly, blinking back tears.

A student wandered by. He was unaware of what was going on. Juliette told him it was my last day. We shook hands and wished one another well.

Peter, the school accountant, came down. We were due to run through the invoicing procedures with Nick but Nick wasn’t back from his lunchbreak. I told Peter what was wrong and only just managed not to burst into tears. He put a hand on my shoulder but he looked as lost as I felt and said he’d come back later.

I stood just outside the shop doorway. This was it. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to close the door.

Then David, my former line manager, came by. He understood. He came into the shop with me and we closed the door. At least, I think that’s what happened. Maybe he stood outside or in the doorway, but we agreed to keep in touch and the door was closed.

Another interlude from Coldplay: My song is love…

Now… how does it feel now? A deep sadness, with more questions than answers. I’ve wanted to leave for over a year now but still, somehow, it breaks my heart. I see my colleagues, brothers, sisters but above all friends and it seems that these beautiful people are set adrift on an ocean of uncertainty, thrown about in the wind and the waves.

In the midst of that uncertainty I ask: when Jesus was caught out in a storm, how many of the disciples did he throw overboard?

I ask: what is this institution, London School of Theology — and why? To me LST’s purpose can be summed up in three words: equipping God’s people. That’s what it’s about, that’s why so many of us down the years have given so much of ourselves to it, and what so many of us have gained from it.

And today, it hurts.


1. David Marriott - September 17, 2010

Nothing to say except that I’m crying with you, sir.

2. fragmentz - September 17, 2010

sending you lots of love and hugs x

3. Karita - September 17, 2010

My heart is breaking with you, my friend.

4. Phil Groom - September 17, 2010

Thank you all, my friends. Back home now and it’s as if a burden has fallen from my shoulders. Got off the train at Biggleswade, the sun was shining but I think it had serious competition from the insane smile on my face as I realised I was almost home and was never going to have to do that horrible commute again.

I walked on to Langford with a song in my heart and a spring in my step … and the sun is still shining…

LST will be what LST will be and I will be what I will be… and this insane deity that we follow in our different ways will continue doing what she does best: encouraging us to do our best, with love…

5. fromthesamesky - September 17, 2010

Well I am glad to read that the burden has lifted somewhat. I can imagine that it will still smart at times though. I am so glad that there was someone there who was willing to be with you in the act of closing the door. It makes such a difference to have companions along the way in the hardest times as well as the good times.

6. Pandora - September 17, 2010

Your post is so evocative that I can almost feel your pain – I know I can’t really, of course, but you had a sad, but beautiful, way with words in this post.

I’m so sorry. Lots of love, hugs and strength to you. Thinking of you always, dear friend.

❤ xxx

7. Phil Groom - September 17, 2010

Again, simply my thanks. You, my friends, are awesome. Much love and *big hugs* to you xx

8. WonderingSoul - September 17, 2010

I so wanted to reply to your blog but was at work and couldn’t.
My heart cries out for you because the pain of loss you describe is just so… well… so beyond words.
Thinking of you,


9. rachael costa - September 18, 2010

Phil, you’ve done a fantastic job and I’m very sad to see you go. Be assured of my prayers for you as you move forward and know that you will be missed.

ps. you write beautifully.

10. Sharon Dick - September 18, 2010

Wow Phil this is deeply moving… and you will be very missed! Especially by us old timers!
take care and will keep in touch via facebook
God Bless

11. Valiant for Truth - September 18, 2010

Well. the corny saying includes doors, doesn’t it, about one closing and another opening, so get prepared to oil some hinges!

Phil Groom - September 18, 2010

I think they’re all automatic and on rollers these days… 😉

12. Phil Groom - September 18, 2010

… once again, my thanks to each one and all of you for all these kind words and your support: truly appreciated.

13. Kirsty Annable - September 14, 2011

Have just returned to LST and I still feel sad. Please know I miss you!

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