When There’s No Time For “Goodbye.”

Mama’s Best Advice: Words of Wisdom Digest

As a leaf on a limb swiftly falls—when a breeze passes, it can happen so quickly that there’s no time for “goodbye.”

by Wandra F Chenault, MSW                                                                                   MamaSezWisdom

November 30, 2021

There are times in life when there’s no time for goodbye – and it’s not always because someone has passed away, instead, it’s because the opportunity to say “goodbye” slipped, faded, and crept away. 

Life gets busy and complicated and the opportunity to say “goodbye,”  can slip away.   Goodbyes are generally respected. There are the ones that are formal – those often happen at retirement, graduation, and weddings.  We get dressed up, we have the last hug, kiss, or words we’ve prepared as a speech. There are even goodbyes when we spur angry words at the termination of a relationship. 

The period at the end of the sentence marks its completeness.  And, without the period it may look like a fragment, a participle, a clause, a “hanging chad,” or dirty laundry left by the washing machine.   Missed opportunities for goodbye can be confusing, even confounding, like a  door left open when it’s not clear if someone’s coming back in or if they forgot to close it. Goodbye is a complete sentence. It is a complete thought.  As the period at the end of the sentence, “goodbye” is simple and short but huge and important.  

Goodbyes can be painful, whether it’s expected to be a short absence or separation,  like camp or, more long term,  like deployment or final, like the death of a relationship or a loved one.  Whatever the reason, or circumstance, when there is a goodbye there may be tears, anxiety, anger,  grief, fear, anger, relief, or a smile. When there is no opportunity to have a goodbye, these emotions may be complicated and intensified.

Mama’s Best Advice Digest

Wandra F Chenault, MSW

When There’s No Time For “Goodbye”

By: Wandra F. Chenault, MSW  MamaSezWisdom™                                                                         on November 30, 2021

So, what happens when you may never have the opportunity to look that someone in the eye, or speak to him, her or them by text, an email, a letter or phone and say those important words, “goodbye,” for what is or can feel like forever?  Well,  one important thing you can do is to allow yourself to feel and experience the emotions. 

You can decide to seek closure and write a letter but then never know if it’s been read and it becomes like the note in the bottle sent out to sea.  So instead you can choose to savor the good memories, which can heighten your emotions and cause you to sulk, to cry,  to grieve. Remember,  It’s a process. You can acknowledge your feelings by sharing them with someone you trust, including God.  Or you may find a way to create something that symbolizes your feelings and allows you to put your feelings into a context, like a poem, a painting, or a song. You wonder if you should hope that the memory gets dimmer but  then realize that it has become  the color of the walls of any room you enter or the backdrop for the scenery of your life and with that, you learn to live with the memory, one where there may never be a “goodbye.”

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Mama’s Best Advice Digest©

MamaSezWisdom™

Atlanta, GA 30331

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