We have all had to say goodbye.
Whether through a death,
a breakup or moving away.
Or to an era of our lives
we’ve had to move on from.
Which goodbye was your hardest?
Saying goodbye to someone close to you is never really easy. Especially when you are not sure if you will see that person again. I remember taking my best friend of 40 years to the airport. She had moved away from Washington quite a few years ago, ending up in Texas. I hadn’t seen her in years, and even though we talked on the phone quite a bit, watching her walk away was one of the hardest things I had ever done. It took all I had not to burst out balling because I was not sure that this was the last time I would see her. After all it had been over 15 years since the last time, and life is so fickle. Happily we have seen each other since and hopefully she will be moving closer soon. But for how hard that had been, there is one that still sends me to my knees.
There are many different goodbyes. The goodbye as everyone heads off to work followed bye everyone heading home. The goodbye until next time we see each other. The goodbye of a relationship gone bad. The goodbye of a chance meeting or someone you may have had business dealings. Some get easier, some don’t. Most you know you will probably see again. It’s that goodbye where you know you will never hear their voice or see their smile again that is the hardest. That is the one that will tear your world apart leaving you scrambling to make sense of what had just happened.
I have had a lot of loss in my life. I believe that when a person leaves this world I will see them again, eventually. That there is a place where we all come together once again. Too many times I have heard those on their deathbed asking why someone who had passed why they were there. Some may think this is the mind losing what little sense it had, but I don’t believe that. Every time saying goodbye is just as hard as the last because I know it will be sometime before I see them again and I will miss them terribly. The hardest, however, came suddenly and far too early.
In July of 2005, my niece, who was going to turn seven the following month, was killed in a boating accident. I won’t get into details because it will just start a rant that will do nothing but get me worked up over something I cannot change. I will say that it was senseless and the repercussions were felt far and wide. My sister worked and I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom, so from three months on I babysat both my nephew and niece. They were like my own children. That first week was a haze and at the same time there were instances that were clear as a bell. And even though there was a funeral (400 people came to show their support. 400! That tells you how many lives this six year old touched) where we are supposed to have closure and say goodbye, it really is never enough. I still feel her with me, see her in my dreams when I miss her the most. As the years go on she is here less and less because to some extent I have come to terms with her loss. Still, I will never say goodbye, not really, because I know I will see her again. Even if there are days her loss brings me to my knees.
Copyright 2016 Heidi Barnes
This write is a response to Kellie Elmore’s prompt on her website Magic in the Backyard.