As I am writing today it is with a heavy heart. Two people in my life are both in the same hospice center fighting for their lives. Both of them have fought very courageous battles with cancer and are now nearing the end of their fight.
I cannot say that I know Paul extremely well, but I have been a witness to his handy work. One of his sons is a good friend of mine and I don't think there is a better way to tell what kind of man a person is than by meeting their children. And I can tell you that in my eyes, Paul is a great man. He has done great things for his family and is now getting ready to say, "goodbye".
Then there is Cheryl. I have known her for some time now and her husband actually built our house. (an exact replica of theirs) She is a carpool partner with my mother-in-law, and a very good friend of the family. Her accomplishments in life include being a mother and an extremely proud grandmother. She, also, is preparing to say, "goodbye".
Which brings me to my reason for writing today. The word Goodbye. What does it actually mean? It can mean a host of things to a great number of different people. Today I got an email from my sister that was asking this same question, and giving her thoughts on the topic. A quote that I thought was provoking was this, she wrote "I can't be sad for those who pass on...yes, I will miss them dearly but I am happy for them, for they are celebrating".
How cool is that? We need not be sad for those that are passing on. They are going to a better place where they will celebrate a new life, in a now home with a new family. Yes, as she states, they will be sorely missed, and the voids left will be felt for a long time. However, it is not supposed to be a sad time for us. We are living on borrowed time and eventually it will be our chance to go and experience the celebration.
Is goodbye supposed to be a sad thing or happy thing? I can't really say. I have experienced being able to say goodbye. To be able to sit and ponder the past and have those last days and moments was truly a blessing. It was also extremely hard to see a person that was a mere shell of what they formerly were.
I have also experienced not being able to say goodbye. My father passed away suddenly when I was eight and there was no chance at a goodbye. Or was there? My goodbye came the morning of his passing as he walked out the door. I was eating breakfast and he was off for work. We said goodbye to each other. I didn't get the last few days of his life to relive the past of go over things left unsaid. He was just gone when I returned from school. However, I do have a lasting image of a strong, capable man that could fix anything and love anyone.
So which is a better way to say goodbye? I don't know if there is one. Each has its own benefits. I do know that we all have that chance to say goodbye, you just might not recognize it as the "last" time you will say it. My advice to you, and something I am striving to do myself, is to make ALL of your Goodbyes count. Make sure that the person you are wishing goodbye to knows that you mean it. It doesn't have to be a bad or a sad word. In my sisters words it can simply mean, "see you tomorrow".
I will leave this post with a song that has been in my head for a long time now. It is a song that speaks to me personally about the ones that I have said goodbye to. I hope you enjoy.
GOODBYE- Audio Adrenaline
You'll be fine tomorrow
The sun will rise
again It's never easy to say goodbye
You know I'll always love you
You know I always will
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye My old friend (my old friend)
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye We've reached the end (we've reached the end)
I don't cry for sorrow,
I cry with joy
The memories we've made can't be destroyed
You know I won't forget you
You know I never could
And when I said I loved you
You know I meant for good
Love to all,