“Thank God I found the GOOD in goodbye.”
— Beyonce Knowles
Goodbyes are emotionally loaded. We’ve either long anticipated them and are therefore ready, or we’re blindsided by the ripping tenacity of such ‘news’.
Grief and goodbye, therefore, go together. We either do our grieving before we leave or we are forced to grieve in lament when the ‘goodbye’ is thrust on us.
Whichever way we look at it, goodbye is about letting go; for many of the anxiously attached, and even secure persons, this may be the hardest of all things to do. But, then again, if we are letting go of something that has held us back, like a coiled spring we are released when the new thing comes and the old is let go of easily.
Grief or Relief – It All Depends on Who Initiates
Goodbyes can be either salaciously terrific or abysmally despairing, depending on who initiates. It is either grief or relief that we experience, but even in relief there is the need to let go in order to fully grasp the new thing. Sometimes in grasping the new thing—no matter how much it promises—we are afraid to truly grasp it.
When we have initiated the goodbye sequence, we are the ones in control, and, notwithstanding its scariness, it’s always better to be in control than not.
Having found ourselves on the other side of the equation, waking moments are like petrifying dreams. We suddenly realise, having woken afresh, that the torment is real. When we have no control over circumstances, then we really stare despair in its face.
But having ‘no control’ is really not entirely correct.
For a time we have no control, then, upon sensing and grasping our opportunity to develop a new and revitalised identity, we snatch back control. Grief, seen this way, is the normal grieving process for most people in most situations. It may take several weeks, even several months, but we do get there.
Goodbyes and New Beginnings
Goodbyes and new beginnings are pregnant things—bursting with tension and hope.
The old journey has ‘come to term’ and a new life is now emerging, though yet to be born. We are excused for feeling deliciously anxious—a swarm of positive energy verging on the uncomfortable, much like the pregnant woman eagerly anticipating the arrival of her little bundle of joy, yet still enduring bodily pains, physical changes, and tiredness.
With every goodbye there is an eventual new beginning, and, in every goodbye, there is hope beyond the grief.
One of the most valuable skills of life is being able to say goodbye. Learning to let go, without the experience of pain, or the courage to enter into and endure such pain, is an incredible asset proffering peace.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.