Saying good-bye for good is perhaps one of the most awkward and painful things you will have to do in life. I, personally, struggle with good byes. Unless in cases of deaths, there is actually no finality to the word. Meaning, you can bid farewell to an ex lover or a friend you’ve fallen out with but doing so will not guarantee that you will never ever see them again. Because of this, good-bye somehow becomes a mockery. It begs me to ask the question, “Can we really say good-bye to the living?”
Let me revisit some of the awkward steps I go to when I prepare to say good-bye. In doing so, perhaps I will be able to answer my own question.
1. Detachment – When I know that it’s time to say good-bye, the first thing I try to do is detach myself from the people, circumstances, and places that I shall eventually no longer call my own. The good thing about detachment is it makes the inevitable parting less painful because although it can never completely erase your emotions, it allows you time to deceive yourself about the real value of people of things. It prepares you and braces you such that when it’s time to go, you’ve already expected the consequences and therefore, have learned to dull down its impact.
2. Nonchalance – Hand in hand with detachment is nonchalance – to act like you don’t care. Now this step I find trickier than detachment. Whereas in detachment the changes are within yourself (and therefore you only have yourself to fool), by being nonchalant, you try to convince yourself as well as others about something that you do not necessarily believe to be true. With nonchalance comes a blasé attitude to life and a forced kind of gaiety that leaves one weary at the end of the day.
3. Dread – As time runs out, a sense of foreboding eventually takes over the mind and body. Suddenly comes the realization of how much time was wasted in deceit. Panic and dread sets in as one scrambles to make up for lost time and how much time was wasted! You try to cram years in the span of days and hours in the fast dwindling seconds only to realize that time, once lost, can never be recovered.
4. Resignation – Once the hysteria of dread leaves, a certain kind of resignation settles in. When one begins to accept the futility of chasing after time and memory, it incites the soul’s surrender to the whirling galaxy of uncertainty. Ironically, if there’s one thing worth trusting in this world, it’s the sure knowledge of the uncertainty of the future. Give in, there’s no other way.
5. Let Go – Never cling to what you know can never be yours. When the time comes, let go! Of course, it’s unavoidable for one to reminisce about the past. The past after all is set and because it is already known, it is safe and comfortable. The past is a crucial foundation in the building of persons. It will forever remain within each and every one of us. However, the present beckons and the mighty future twinkles beyond. Don’t let the past hold you back. Move forward until you hold the light of the future in your hands.
6. … – Just because there are no definite steps to saying good-bye. It’s painful. It’s awkward. It’s the best thing you can ever do for yourself. It’s the happiest day of your life. It could be anything and everything to different persons. It is what it is.
So to answer my question, can we really say good-bye to the living? I guess more than saying good-bye to their physical existence, we instead bid farewell to what they stand for, to the meaning they hold in our lives. Hence, when we once again meet their physical forms (such as in the case of an old lover), they are no longer the same people we have said good-bye to in the past. They no longer carry the same meaning or value and therefore, because of this, we have the choice to move on or start fresh.
- Dress from Philosophy Woman at SM Ladies’ Fashion
- Belt from SM Store
- Earrings from SM Accessories
- Purse from Sophie Paris
- Shoes from Folded and Hung
Photos by Rhea Bue 🙂