Goodbyes can be smooth and easy but they can also be sad, scary, even traumatic.
Whether it’s the end of a romance, partnership, closing of a house, last day of school, death of a pet, the end of innocence in your child, or the dessert after a most exquisite meal, goodbye is always waiting in the wings.
We can tremble, scream, pretend, avoid, distract ourselves and try to shove goodbye out the door, but it won’t stop.
Goodbye is destiny’s accomplice.
Without goodbye we’d rot away, clutching to safety and security and never saying hello to anything new.
If we can trust (even a little) that the hard goodbyes mean there’s more goodness to come, it can help us cope with goodbye.
Remembering goodbye’s superpowers gets me through the hard transitions—like the one this week.
After a long stretch of togetherness, it was time for our little posse to say goodbye. Packing up was busy, smooth and low key. Everyone was focused on getting to the ferry on time—and not leaving a sock under the bed.
Enter 10-year old Stella, crying her eyes out—loud.
As we loaded suitcases into the car, she flung her little body around my big dog, crying “I’ll never let you go, Luna! Why do we have to say goodbye anyway? I hate goodbye!”
The tightest hugs and wettest eyes I’ve ever seen.
She brought every buried sadness and avoidance out into the open for us all to feel. We needed that.
Even the teenager (desperately missing her friends back home) was pulled into the goodbye grief. Tears were shed. Feelings were expressed. After the tears, we carried on—without unsung sadness getting lodged deep inside. Stella helped us feel and heal.
Sadness over endings is healthy—it honors how special something was.
On the other hand, hating goodbyes can be tied to scarcity—fearing all our good times have run out.
If you love something dearly, fearing there will never be enough can strangle the life out of it.
Whatever you’re saying goodbye to in your life, remember there’s more goodness ahead. If you’ve created something wonderful once, you can do it again.
Goodbye my loves,
P.S. What’s ending in your life right now? Are you feeling it and moving it through, or resisting goodbye? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.