Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Goodbye Really Is The Hardest Word

Goodbye Really Is The Hardest Word

Everyone always says that goodbyes are some of the hardest moments of our lives. The proper goodbyes that is – the ones that really mean something.

I know for me each time I say goodbye to my parents to travel across the other side of the world I break down just a little – all right, a lot. Saying goodbye to my sister is always heartbreaking, especially now she has this new baby on the way. When I say goodbye I know I’m going to be missing important moments in her life – moments that I will hear about, but won’t be a part of. The same with my closest friend in the world – their lives go on without me, and I won’t be a part of them in quite the same way.

Today I said a goodbye that I didn’t expect to be as painful as it was.

I said goodbye to two great friends who are moving on to bigger and better things – a better life for them. So I am happy for them, pleased that they are doing something that will make them happy.

But for perhaps the first time in my life I’m the one staying behind. I have always been the one moving on – leaving friends and family behind to start afresh somewhere new. I didn’t realise how different that would feel.

I know that the sadness comes not just from saying goodbye to two people I consider great friends – people I feel so pleased to have met and got to know – but also from the fact that I am saying goodbye to a sense of familiarity.

They have been here on the small island I call home since I moved here, and picturing this place without them seems almost impossible, because all of my images of this place include them. Many of my happiest times on the island have been spent with them – not doing anything special, just talking and sharing and enjoying life. I find it hard to imagine an evening at the bar after work without them there. Without him mixing up a fabulous cocktail, and her sharing the funny stories that invariably come from doing the kind of job we do.

All that said, whilst goodbyes are hard, they are often the start of something new. A new experience, new friends, new memories.

So I will say a sad farewell to two people who have kept me sane, shared a lot of laughter, but thankfully very few tears. I can only wish them good luck.

No, perhaps I won’t say goodbye – perhaps I’ll just say ‘see you soon’, and know that it’s not an ending, just a change – and change is always good. Right?

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