I’ve never had one that was much fun. Unless, of course, you count the dates I’ve been on where I wanted to stick a red hot poker in my eye just to end it early. Those were excellent goodbyes.
I think goodbyes are there to teach us stuff. I will belligerently share with you that I never asked for any of these life lessons. I thought I was pretty awesome without them.
I’ve learned that moving on doesn’t necessarily mean moving up. There are lots of things and people I would rather hang on to. Our lives are less full when we lose them, and we are often left to wonder about the fairness of things.
Life’s a bitch, and goodbyes are a good reason why.
Saying goodbye to my one and only child at her dorm room door almost killed me. Well, okay, maybe I’m being a tad dramatic, but it sure felt like a death sentence. In a way it was. My life was never the same. Neither was hers. It all ended well, we both grew up (she more than me) and we grew closer to each other. Each time I see a mother bird tending her nest full of babies, I make it a point to stop and talk to her about her upcoming heart break. Just my way of helping mother-nature out.
When I had to put down my cat, Figaro, I gave him a long last hug, the kind of hug you give when you know you won’t ever hug again. I thanked him for all that he gave me and for standing by me through thick and thin. And then he was gone. It broke me. I think we lean on our pets because they give us so much and ask for so little in return. It’s a pretty easy relationship to get use to … unless you want it with a human. I still begrudge that goodbye.
Saying goodbye to my dad, leaving the room where his casket lay, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I knew I would never be in the same room as him again. I didn’t want to leave. That goodbye is with me every day. An unwelcome memory of a life ended too soon.
Saying goodbye to my 25 year marriage was tough business. Of course, so was the marriage. It was the right thing to do, and I have no regrets, but it still feels like my biggest failure. I learned a lot during the marriage. I’m still not sure what I learned from ending it, but I’m sure it’s brilliant!
We all have different stories, but we will all end our road with a bucket full of goodbyes. Personally, I think we could all use more hellos.
I’ve learned to embrace the goodbyes in my life, mostly because I have no choice. But also because I began to notice that with every single one of them, there is a new beginning of sorts. A vacancy left to be filled with new meetings, loves, adventures and opportunities … and undoubtedly more goodbyes.
I did not come to this conclusion gracefully, but I guess all that matters is the acceptance of it all. I am working on my attitude, and it will improve … any day now.
They say that there are only two things in life that are certain: death and taxes. I say there are three: death, taxes and goodbyes.
If you’ve figured out a way to live a full life and avoid any of these … you will swiftly become my new best friend!
Steve - Hi, Tammy!
No argument here. Goodbyes—even the ones you’d like to hasten with a red-hot poker—are never pleasant things. They always mean (if sometimes only temporarily) THE END. One might even say they are a sort of metaphorical death.
It’s the old, old story: to quote James Whistler, art (among other things) happens. It’s how we respond to it that matters. Which is pretty much what you said. I’d love to have a meaningful discussion with you one of these days, but unless you stop making so much sense, it’s not going to happen!
Au revoir, Tammy (but NOT goodbye)!
Ande Lyons - You say goodbye… and I say hello… to another fabulous post by the oh so eloquent Tammy.
Having moved countless times… I have way too many goodbyes in my life… to people, places and things.
I don’t mind saying goodbye to bad relationships, extra pounds, and Presidential elections.
I do mind saying goodbye to meaningful moments, the end of a delicious story, or the best of dining pleasures.
And I really hate the permanent goodbyes… the kind that cause unspeakable grief…
which is why I keep lots of bookmarks handy … because goodbyes mean the end to a chapter in our life… good, bad or ugly. (Some of these goodbye chapters get recycled, darn it all, when we don’t get the lesson!)
Thanks Tammy for the reflection on goodbyes… I’m always moved and inspired by your witty writing.
Oh… and Steve… LOVE your comment!!
Steve - Many thanks, Ande! I’m jealous that you thought to work in the Beatles lyric—that’s supposed to be my shtick—but I still like you…and your taste in bloggers!
Mel Glenn - a raw (in the nicest way) column. I am always impressed by your honesty and integrity, and your ability to articulate what the rest of us feel. A touching column.
Rick Gualtieri - Even if I could fix two of them, I have no idea how to get out of taxes. 🙂
Tammy - Hi Steve, it is always how we react to things that matter. I read a quote recently that stated that it doesn’t matter what we know, or see about ourselves; what matters is what we think about ourselves. Brilliant! Our minds over rule reality so much of the time and many a pity for it. Some of the goodbye’s I mentioned in my post put forward an involuntary reaction of loss and sorrow on my part. As time went on I dealt with it better, although still bitter. I’ve come to the conclusion (nothing gets past me) that goodbye’s are inevitable and best to make peace with those things we cannot change or out run. Wonderful having you here, Steve, thanks for the post!
Tammy - Hi Ande, my, you have such a wonderful way of putting things. I see a whole other blog about things that we are happy to say good bye too. Awesome! Isn’t it wonderful that when we have our deep reflections that we can work it all out by putting it down on paper. I feel tons better now and to receive such notable comments such as yours is just the cherry topping to a wonderful desert. That be you. Mental bookmarks are a good idea, although there are some I would prefer to forget. Love, love having you on the other side of my blog, my thanks for your post!
Tammy - Hi Mel, I am nothing if not honest. Perhaps too honest at times. I can remember a few times when it’s gotten me in a bit of hot water. I think I like being called raw, thank you for that. I believe that so many of us share the same fears, emotions, desires and hopes. We are all so different, yet so alike. Goodbye’s affect us all, some more than others. At times, it would be lovely to have a heart of stone, don’t you think? Thanks for being here, for the read, and for your post. Appreciate it.
Tammy - Hi Rick, you are too funny! If I ever figure it out, I’ll let you know. Thanks tons for stopping in!
Maryjo Morgan - It feels as if you crawled around in my heart, drug the emotions you found there through my preferred articulations, edited and shared them. Amazingly well done, Tammy!
Tammy - Hi Maryjo, compassionate hearts, thoughtful minds and mindful souls think alike. We all have something or someone we begrudge saying goodbye to. Bitterness is made less heavy by knowledge and new opportunities, new love and new passions. We have but to wait. In the waiting lies the misery. So happy I was able to touch you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and posting them. Thank you for being here!
Malissa - Hi Tammi,
Omg you had me in tears with the cat and the father! I have had several animals that broke my heart but what did I learn from that ? To go out and get another , not to bright. I lost my mom 2 yrs ago feels like yesterday I was in at hospice watching mom take her last breath. That was a tough goodbye.
Like you I ended a marriage not as long as yours but almost 11 yrs. Still a lot to throw away but well worth it and I did learn my lesson in that to chose better the next time. I think I did pretty good this time going on 19 yrs.
Taxes only way out is death and you still get taxed when you do! LoL
Oh yes would have liked to poke a few eyes out with that poker but not my own hahahaha!
Thanks for some grief release! Hugs malissa
Malissa - Oh forgot about the empty nest thing, my son went into the navy and the week he left my husband got a new job driving long haul. Man that was empty! I was sad for about a week but then I noticed the house stayed clean , I could come and go as I pleased and I got to watch what I wanted. LoL it was hell when it ended, had to get use to them all over again.
Tammy - Hi Malissa, It would appear that you are my sister from another mother. Haa! I think that I learned from my divorce that when you know in your gut something is wrong for you … well, best you listen up. Expensive and tough lesson it was. Figgy is in my heart always, I think of him still. Papa was a loss that I’m not sure I will ever fully ‘get over’. I’m happy just getting past it. He battled cancer for many months…many too many. Bravery is often the silent voice. Loved your comment about taxes! Ain’t it the truth! So, so happy you found your way to me, I am richer for it. Thanks for posting, Missy!
Tammy - Hi again, I almost had a nervous breakdown when my daughter left. Seriously. I was a mess. Newly divorced after 27 years of marriage and left with Figaro the cat and Maddy the dog, I was useless for some time. But like you I realized that I did laundry 1/4 a much, cooked what I wanted to eat and listened to my kind of music and watched my favorite television shows. Yup, it wasn’t half bad. When she would come home for a visit (she was only 90 miles away) I loved having her but felt encroached upon. Go figure. Still, I missed her every single day. Still do. We have a good deal of common ground. Wonderful sharing with you.
Malissa - Ok next artical nick names and why we hate them! LoL call me any thing but missy! Little missy as in Miss, Mrs. Is ok but shot for malissa no. Haha. I don’t know why I just hate it. No hard feelings. So do you just hate Tam? Hehe.
Tammy - Ms. Malissa, duly noted and apology offered. Yes, you guessed correctly … hate the name Tam. Call me Tamster, Tamela, Babe (thought I’d sneak that one in) but don’t call me Tam unless you don’t mind a bloody nose. Call us even.
Carole - As always, Tammy, you write how we all feel, but you say it more succinctly and eloquently than I ever could.
Ande - Tammy – I missed your last two posts (summertime and the living is easy….) and was thrilled to dive back in with such a profound piece. I love and appreciate how you always leave a core element of your Self on the page – it provides such a deep connection with your readers. Thanks!
Your devoted fan,
Joan Cooper - HELLO……….
Never say goodbye…………..say ALOHA (till we meet agan).
Malissa - LoL you got it never call you that again. My uncle nick named me Lupe because mom went to Mexico back in the 50 and I guess they made note of who went in and who went out well I was a baby and they didn’t put my name down, I’m dark complected, big brown eyes almost black hair. I’m not but looked Mexican so they ( at the border) thought they were stealing me , they called me that so much when I started talking I would say , me Lupe to people who asked my name. I miss being called lupe, mom is the only one that would call me that every once in a while. Ok I’m done lol. Your friend Lupe
Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen - Well said Tammy!
I have been quite fortunate to have avoided most of those heartbreaking goodbyes you mention, so far.
Somehow this quote seems appropriate:
“The soul always know what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.”
Tammy - Hi Laura Lee, I’ve always loved that particular quote. Ain’t it the truth! Goodbye’s are something (I’ve learned) cannot be avoided. At some point in time we all will face having to say a goodbye to a person or a situation that we wish we didn’t have to end. Sad but true. Thanks so much for popping and sharing your post!
Tammy - Thanks, Joan. Aloha to you!
Tammy - Thank you, Carole, for being here, for the read and for the kind words. Guess there are many of us in the same boat. Awesome having you here.
Tammy - Ande, every writer should have a fan like you. Really! You stated it so eloquently, but I do tend to smear the page a bit with my own tears, anger, guts or glory from time to time. I’m nothing if not honest about things. I hope you’re right … I hope that it doesn’t provide a deeper connection with myself and my wonderful readers. Feelings and relationships are everything, aren’t they? We all are so different but we have so many commonalities. Always good to share with you..always. Thanks again for the post!
Tammy - Lupe, your mom …. and me. Thanks for sharing, Awesome story!
Kellie - I think saying ” I will be seeing you soon” is much better than “Goodbye” works for ALL situations, including a death of a loved one or animal. 🙂
Kellie - well almost all … excluding the ex-hubby or ex-boyfriend! :0
Jenny - Over the last few days I have been thinking of goodbyes. I could share some “yeah, that’s over goodbyes” to the ones that I “never ever ever want to feel that way again”. I would type one and then change my mind and feed your fish instead. Your blog has had me remembering a lot! Remember Charlotte and her baby spiders when the hatched… “goodbye”, “goodbye”, “goodbye”. See, I’ve been all over the map with this blog! Going to feed the fish again.