Saying Goodbye

I don’t normally blog about my personal life, nor do I intend to make it a habit. But as I recently moved continents I came to realize something about saying goodbye that I thought was worth sharing.

It’s hard to say goodbye to a very good friend. You’ll spend your last few minutes with them and you gush about shared experiences, realizing what a big part of your life that person was, immediately feeling the bitter sting of loneliness and uncertainty about the future. You leave behind a certain invaluable brand of sharing and companionship and you start to feel the void in your life as you turn away, knowing they won’t be an active part of your life for a while.

But what’s even harder is saying goodbye to a best friend. Of the 30-something people who I had to say goodbye to in the manner detailed above, I was only able to reach this type twice, with people who I had shared and experienced even more with – I felt (and I’m going to assume they felt) almost nothing. Total silence. Just a sort of understanding that you’re going to leave now, and it’s going to be a while.

But why is that? On Wednesday I spent one minute going from one bus stop to the next with my closest friend. Practically the only remark was, “Wow, it’s our last minute together.” My theory is that saying goodbye to someone like that doesn’t really…make any sense. They’ve become such an entrenched and obvious part of your life. When I moved I didn’t think to myself about hobbies I was going to “have to quit now” or something. The friendship just seemed so regular and so important that it was impossible to accept that those were our last moments together for a last time. And thus, they weren’t really significant on their own. Of course, certain parts of your life are transferrable from one location to the next, like your hobbies, but unfortunately, not your friends. And only time will reveal that void.

So if you’re saying goodbye to someone extremely close and realize you can’t say or really feel anything, don’t worry – it’s probably a good sign.


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