Content Under Construction: The Art of Farewell
God be w’ye
The sensation starts somewhere between my rib cage and small intestine—it’s a realization—that the very short weekend is coming to an end and my long-legged lover is going to drive away in his red pickup truck—again.
This cycle has been playing for weeks now and I keep thinking it is going to go away or get better, but it has not, and I’m guessing probably won’t. To love much is to hurt much. “Parting is such sweet sorrow,” said Shakespeare’s Juliet.
We say good-bye so very often it becomes routine. “See ya later honey, have a great day,” rolls out repeatedly. Then suddenly a person, dream, job, well-loved pet, or community is gone. Forever.
Death is ever present. Maybe that is why “good-bye” actually began as “God be with ye” and shortened up into our casual vernacular over time. Other languages capture the need to ward off the inevitable. “Adios”—to God. Or "Vaya con Dios"—go with God. "Au revoir" and "Auf Viedersehn"—until we see each other again.
My current weekly cycle has re-awakened me to the pain of the farewell that everyone experiences, whether they admit it or not. I realized that based on personal experience I qualify as a minor if not major expert on saying good-bye. You are too. How many times have You said good-bye to parents, friends, teachers, pets, places and dreams—because you had to—or sometimes because you wanted to?
Letting Go—sounds so ethereal and civilized—but does not describe the wrenching ache and the gaping hole left tattering in the wake of a loss. Is there a good way to do it? A way that respects your pain and helps heal the wounds?
These words based on personal experiences—my own and my friends’ are intended to share an honest look at good-byes, fare thee wells and see ya laters, while keeping an eye out for hopes and hellos.
Next: The Last Day of Camp
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