When those I am in conflict with leave or I leave them, goodbye isn't what I want to say. I want to talk about pieces of me that are torn, damaged, and fragmented because of our interchanges. I want to tell them that, just maybe, I've learned something new: in how to be, in how to live, in how to grow. I want them to know that I hate them for casting upon their dark influence upon my life but at the same time admire them for their contribution in making me a little wiser, a little mature. I wonder why it got so complicated and sticky. But no- instead we say with fortitude, "Goodbye". I may shake their hand, glad that I won't have to see them again. But there is so much unsaid and goodbye doesn't skim the root of my feelings. I didn't want to say goodbye. I didn't!
When someone I love dies, goodbye isn't what I want to say. I want to tell them the truth about us. I want to set it straight. Get to what was real. That their words could hurt, that I wasn't as strong as they'd hoped, that I still struggle to forgive them. I want to know how shattered I am at their sudden departure. At the same time, I want to tell them that their love made life easier, free, more accessible. That I'm grateful for their presence. I want to tell them I forgive them for being human, that I carry no grudges but sheer love and goodwill for them and that their mention shall always stimulate a trickle of tear from the eye, the one with mixed emotions-happiness, good times, fights, sorrow and the emptiness they've left me with.
But no- instead we say "goodbye" at a memorial service. And I feel captured in a storm of emotions that violently swirl me around. I didn't want to say goodbye.
When life turns to me someday and says, "Say Goodbye," goodbye isn't what I want to say, I've said enough "Goodbyes" my whole life, let me say it right, now. Just let me say it right. But life's hands will close around me, ushering me to something new. It will be the only time where "goodbye" was what I needed to say.