Goodbye is never easy
I’ll bet during your life you have had to say a final – goodbye – to someone, whether due to a relationship ending, change of location, a new career or even death.
In some cases our goodbyes can be only temporary, but on many occasions they are permanent. Oh, you thought maybe you said that you would keep in touch with someone, but as the years passed one day you suddenly realized that what you thought was a temporary goodbye was a permanent one.
There are many emotions during any goodbye which can include; regret, disappointment, anger, grief, sadness, surrender or others. In my experience when we say goodbye there are seldom positive, joyful or happy feelings associated with most of our endings. Yes, there can sometimes be no or passive emotions – just acceptance or even apathy or indifference. And yes, some of our goodbyes can help us to begin some new and even exiting or beneficial aspect of our next life chapter – thus a new beginning.
During my life there have been many goodbyes both permanent and in a some cases temporary – friends, family, co-workers, clients and even a few neighbors that I was close to for a time, but all of these endings regardless of their type or circumstances caused me to reflect on my life in general.
How about you? Goodbyes ever caused you to examine your feelings, emotions, attitudes or mindsets as a result of these situations?
In some ways I like goodbyes but in other ways I do my best to avoid them. But when we refuse to say goodbye internally there will always be residual and ongoing inner pain of some kind.
If someone has passed away that you were close to but failed to forgive them or heal a broken relationship with them while they were alive – it’s now too late and you will have to live with the regret of failing to resolve these differences or tell them how you felt while they were still here. You can’t imagine how many people are living with this inner pain because they lacked the courage or humility or compassion to take these steps while someone was still alive.
Maybe you had some really great friends in high school or college and the only time you see them is at an infrequent reunion.
When I was in high school I had 20 or 30 good friends (football or track buddies or just friends in general). When I got a copy of our 50th reunion yearbook I discovered that there were only four of us left. I can’t tell you the pain that that made me feel and the tears I shed for not keeping in touch with even a few of these people.
I was recently flying to a speaking engagement in Texas and sat next to a woman in her 70’s who said she hadn’t talked to her daughter in over 25 years. I’m not being judgmental here or accusing her or her daughter of the cause of this rift but think about it – sad?
Goodbyes can be wonderful teachers that can help us heal other relationships that are still active but filled with tension, pain, regret or even anger. They can humble us and help us to become better friends, partners and relatives but we have to be willing to change, grow and often forgive.
Have a relationship now that needs some healing? Don’t wait - you never know when or where the next goodbye will come from.
“There is not a single moment in life we can afford to lose.”