We all know it is hard to say goodbye. Saying goodbye is harder than saying hello. We come together but then we must part company.
I was sitting on a bench taking a break from shopping at the Promenade on the Peninsula shopping center in Rolling Hills Estates when I overheard two friends talking about a bittersweet moment.
One of the girls explained how she recently experienced the first time she ever saw her dad cry. For months she had been planning and talking about leaving for college to her parents and friends. She felt her dad was well aware of her upcoming move and was adjusting—but at her farewell party, after the guests left, he said with tears in his eyes, “You are really leaving.”
I can relate. When I moved from my hometown to the South Bay, I had to say goodbye to my dad. This was a moment that brought awareness of that in-between space, where my past was ending and meeting the present. I wasn’t just saying goodbye to my dad; I was saying goodbye to the old and welcoming my new life ahead—new city, new friends, new job.
My parents and I parted with a spoken promise to visit soon. We arranged a trip for the upcoming holiday weekend, which was just a few months away. This somehow made saying goodbye easier.
There are also the airport goodbyes that come when I visit my sister. This goodbye always comes much too fast. Where did our week together go? As we hug goodbye, I recall the first day I arrived for my visit and the excitement of the “hello” hug. We remind each other when the next visit will happen, and we make sure the date is entered into our iPhones.
I am blessed to share a pleasant goodbye with my hairdresser each time I visit Lush Sculpting Lounge. My hairdresser always gives me a warm hug and says, “It is always such a pleasure to see you.” This goodbye is nice. We share a great connection. We know we will see each other in a few months because the next appointment is set.
I also receive a very appreciative and meaningful goodbye from a client of mine each time we talk or see each other. She tells me she loves me and loves working with me every time. We end the goodbye with the next date we will connect.
Sharing a group hug with my friends after having dinner together is a fun goodbye; we part telling each other, “Be sure to call me about the plan for next week.”
Why are some goodbyes so hard? Perhaps it is because we are enjoying the connection and fun this person brings us. If this person lives far away—such as a sister whose home is in another state—saying goodbye between visits can certainly be difficult. Maybe we only have the opportunity to see family members once a year, so when it is time to part, it can be a very tender moment. Over our lifetime we’ve experienced saying farewell in all sorts of ways. We’ve said casual good-byes to the people we’ll see tomorrow, and eternal goodbyes to those we’ll never see again.
You can make saying goodbye easier with some of these tips:
- Remind yourselves of when the next visit will happen. Making future arrangements can help make saying goodbye easier and gives you something to plan and look forward to.
- Keep in touch through social media, such as Skype and Facebook. Sharing photos of special moments you spent together and updating each other with photos of events that take place between your visits can keep relationships growing.
- Call often between visits. Phone calls can keep the bond strong, and it is always nice to hear the voice of someone you are close to.
- Reminisce with your friend or family after the visit. This can strengthen the bonds of friendship.
- Send an email. Emails are a great way to keep each other up-to-date, especially with international friends or relatives who live in different time zones. Email offers a convenient way to catch up. It is comforting to wake up each morning and read a daily e-mail from one of my sisters who lives far from me.
- Let someone know you’re thinking of them through a text message.