Goodbyes suck. I wish there was a more eloquent way of putting it but sometimes we don’t need a beautiful description of something we all already know about.
And it doesn’t matter if you are on the giving end of a goodbye, the receiving end of a goodbye. It doesn’t matter if it was planned, sudden or a long time coming. It doesn’t even matter why the goodbye happens. Goodbyes are just hard.
You know what goodbye is the worst? The goodbye that catches in your throat and feels like the weight of a thousand cinder blocks sitting on your chest. The one that threatens to spill from your eyes and leave you in tear puddles on the floor. The one that doesn’t even allow you to utter the first word without being reduced to a blubbering mess. The one that you don’t even want to get through, because you are desperate to hear the phrase “don’t go…”
That “goodbye” is the worst.
And here is what I have learned about goodbye.
Goodbye isn’t forever, no matter how final the word itself sounds. Goodbye means you are giving and taking bits of each other forward into your next journey, on to your next hello. Goodbye simply means that we are making a choice or accepting a choice that we are no longer as important or relevant in one’s life any longer. That our time, however long or short has come to an end.
And how simple that would be if that were the case. If our memories and feelings would simply wash away once those words were spoken, like shaking an etch-a-sketch at the end of a beautiful masterpiece…only that isn’t what happens at all.
Goodbye means that every time I hear “Stay or Leave” by Dave Matthews, that every time I pour a Gentleman’s Jack, that every birthday from here on out (since that was the day we met), that every time I watch the movie Secretary which is at least 6 times a year, that when I go to Orlando, Ikea, or the Amphitheater, or hell even lie in my bed, that every time I look down at the tattoo between my chest or the compass on my shoulder blade that pointed me to due north which was to you, that every time I see the words “scarily perfect on so many levels”, or that every time I look at the ocean right before sunset, just before a storm the blue-grey of your eyes is something I will never forget. Goodbye means that all of those things are still with me, only you are not.
And perhaps when those things happen, that piece of me that lies with you will vibrate somewhere deep within and you will know that you are still there and I am still with you, only not quite.
So when I say goodbye I am saying that I am taking the best part of my memories of you to my future and choosing not to look back with regret and perhaps you will make the choice to remember the best of me too. We will still share the sun and the moon and rest our eyes beneath the same sky.