Whether we say good-bye for a moment or for a lifetime these two simple words used every day in one way or another can mean so much. Have you ever thought of how many good-byes you’ve said in a day a week a month … a lifetime? Hundreds? … maybe thousands?
Have you ever given thought to some of the more profound good-byes? The more permanent good-byes. In Italian there is a word that is very different from a simple good-bye. Italian dictionaries define this as “an extreme goodbye”. Its ‘addio’. If you use Google translate it brings up the word good-bye. But this is not the case with ‘addio’. Addio is permanent. You know you will no longer see this person or thing. It is indeed the end. Wish you had something like that in the English language? I looked up some synonyms and it just isn’t there.
So for the sake of what I’m writing about here we’ll stick to good-bye and the implications around these simple two words. Imagine the end of a relationship. The end of life. End of a business. There are so many reasons to use these two words and the emotion attached to these words can sometimes consume a person.
Imagine the death of a spouse. You’ve been together for years and your lives are very intertwined. You are together for the very last time. Your heart is crushed. Memories of a lifetime together swirl through your head. How will you cope not having your soul mate with you any longer? Tears streaming from your eyes. Wishing you could change this one moment … hoping and praying that this isn’t the end or the last good-bye. How can this be happening to me? To us? My last good-bye … my last gaze into your eyes. Knowing that all the love in the world cannot change this moment in time. One last touch, caress, gentle brush of the hair … and then the final Good-Bye …
How about good-bye to a relationship … knowing you have given everything your heart can muster and bear to this one person you so deeply love and realizing that no matter what you do, it just isn’t enough. Wishing … desiring for things to be different and being overwhelmed with emotion because just this one time you truly believed you had found that one person that thinks the way you did, wants the same things you did, ‘got you’ and would have your back … and then realizing that it just can’t work and feeling crushed. Coming to that realization and seeing each other for the last time with a good-bye that will linger on like whispers looking for the wind to carry your love and hope that it will change their mind and also knowing that it wont. Good-bye my love …
What about saying good-bye in business … the end of a partnership or loss of the company or new business venture. In some cases, as it was for me, my partner committed fraud so it was more of an FU – I never want to see you again than a regular good-bye. I suppose mine was a very emotionally charged goodbye.
And last but not least the simple every day good-bye … see you tomorrow or later or whenever. The happy good-byes. Those that are not permanent but just a brief interruption in our timeline until we are together again. The ones that hopefully are the bulk of all our good-byes.
However it happens, it’s not easy or pleasant at times. There are streams of emotions that get grounded and attached to these two words, all of which are predicated by the experience we had with the person or object we leave behind.
So give thought to your next good-bye. When echoing these two words to a friend, family member, a child … think of these words knowing that things can change in a blink of eye. And this one good-bye can last as short as a few seconds or could be the last two words you share with the one you love.
Good-bye … for now …