Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

Let's Say Goodbye to Our Loved Ones the Right Way
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There are two types of goodbyes - the type where the people are upset to leave each other and the type where the people are very happy to part ways. This article is about the goodbyes that make your heart constrict because you don't want to leave the other person... or you don't want them to leave you.

For such a small word, it has a huge impact on people. Some people like saying goodbye because it gives them a sense of control over the sad situation. Others dislike the word because they know (from past experiences) that their friend, roommate, son, or husband might not make it home that night due to a traffic accident, a drive-by shooting, or something just as horrific and unpredictable. Some of my friends prefer saying the words "See ya later" as a substitute because it hurts less.

But saying goodbye doesn't have to hurt if you say goodbye right.

Please end your conversations with love. We get so angry at each other over matters that lose importance when we acknowledge what actually matters in life. What matters to me is letting people I care about know that every single time we are together. Sometimes, I fail miserably at this because I make the wrong choices with my explosive feelings.

For example, in high school I remember getting really mad at a guy-friend of mine over how he judged me for living out my faith. I remember yelling at him in my garage one time, wanting to get through his thick skull that he was hurting me, and I slammed a door in his face. (I bet some of my friends are laughing at this, wondering how this version of Brooke is even possible. My only response to that is I've changed a lot since high school.)

But seriously, what if that had been our last conversation? What if he died, and my livid face was what he pictured of me in his last moments instead of our memories of admiring mansions we will never afford to buy, snacking on popcorn and watching a sports documentary, or giggling while we shoot basketballs in my driveway?

People will say things that make us swoon, become angry, and think more deeply about what actually matters in life. No matter what, leave each conversation with a heartfelt goodbye. I hope it is only a "See ya later" situation, that you will actually see each other again. I hope that my friends leaving right now for St. Louis, Texas, Colorado, Milwaukee, and more are going to stay safe enough so I can see their beautiful smiles again, hear their lovely voices again, and joke about our goofy shenanigans again. Leave them with a hug, your favorite memory of your time with them, an inside joke, or a kiss on the cheek. Say goodbye right, and it won't hurt as much.


Let me take you down memory lane for all the goodbyes that we have probably said sometime in our lives:

~At our first sleepover at a friend's house, we had to say goodbye to our parent(s).

~On the first day of daycare, our parent(s) tearfully gave their precious kid over to the care of someone else.

~Our first day of school. I was so pumped for kindergarten, I think that made my mom extra sad. I just wanted to puzzle with my new friends, okay? Plus there was a bubble machine outside, it was a very festive occasion for me.

~Saying goodbye to a middle school classmate because the job one of the parents had moved the friend away from you.

~Our departure to college (if that's the route you took after high school). It was liberating, but also very intimidating.

And if we haven't already, soon we might start saying goodbye to friends who move to different states/countries, our parents if we get married, or older family members who pass away. My best advice is to say goodbye right, which means letting all the small things that get in the way of love disappear from our conversations.


One more piece of good news. Our technologically advanced age offers plenty of ways to stay in contact with each other even when we aren't in person with our friends and family members. Some people had to wait for the Pony Express to get their mail. We only have to restart the wifi, which doesn't take long... most of the time. So really, we have lucked out in this century. I guess goodbyes don't have to be so bad after all.

Cover Image Credit: Remi Walle

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Losing A Grandparent Changed My Life

Live for them, and give them a legacy to be proud of.
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Death isn’t what the average 20-something thinks about every day. You don’t think it will happen to you, or the people around you. You know that it exists because you see heart-wrenching reports on the news daily of another life lost to ignorance or hate.

Yes, losing a grandparent definitely changes your life. For some of us, it's a drastic change. To others: they knew it was coming. Still, some weren't even close to their grandparents because they lived too far away from each other to build a relationship in person.

I can't even fathom that considering both of my grandparents lived a city away from me or across town. They are your second set of parents and the love you've had for your entire life. They are the lessons learned and the ones holding your hand through it all.

When my grandfather died (affectionately known to me as Papa), my life changed. I watched him take his last breath in the hospital alone. I called my mother to tell her that her father died. In that moment: my emotionally sheltered life was torn apart. In that moment: I had to grow up. The person I had leaned on my entire life was gone.

I literally reconsidered everything I had done in my life in a matter of hours. I thought about college, finally graduating and walking across that stage: cords swinging and my tassel hanging there. That was his biggest dream for me, we were only a year away from it when he left this earth.

When a grandparent passes they take a part of you: big or small. When you were younger you planned out life with them. You shared your dreams with them, your insecurities, your childish ways and most of all you shared your love.

They, in turn, taught you lessons about life, helped you realize those dreams, and never let you go without being told you were loved every single time they saw you. They are the suppliers of happiness, security, and laughs. Friends come and go, but your family stays with you forever.

The bottom line is: most everyone knows what it's like to lose a grandparent. We all cope differently, and leaning on others is the best way to keep yourself up. Facing the reality of death is the only way we can accept it and move on. Moving on doesn't mean forgetting, it means understanding. We were lucky enough to have these amazing people to guide us through our younger years, teaching us these vital lessons.

I can't tell you how many times a day I wish I had my papa back. Learning to cope without them is the hardest part, even years later. Grandparents prepare you for life's greatest gains. Little did they know they would be their grandchildren's biggest loss. Live for them, and give them a legacy to be proud of.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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What It Is Really Like Having Sisters Close To Your Age

While having siblings close to your age is pretty amazing, there can be a lot of issues that can come with it.

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I come from a family of 5 people and 1 dog. I have 2 sisters, Grace and Caroline. We are all pretty close in age, Caroline being the youngest and 3 years younger than me.

My sisters and I share a bond like no one else, no one can replicate it. When you have siblings close to your age you have built-in best friends, and since they are around your age you have the same interest, or at least, enough so that you can do things that other siblings cannot. Examples of this would be seeing R-Rated movies and going to the mall without too much complaining, along with being able to shop in the same stores or even share clothes. Grace and I sometimes even split the cost of a shirt we both like.

We even overlap friend groups! Which is not much of a problem for us, Grace and I are both in music programs which overlap enough for us to have the same friends, which is great for when one of us has a sleepover, the other can join in on the fun. Caroline, however, even though she is seen as the sporty one of the 3 of us, she still has a lot of friends who have similar interests as Grace or I, giving us a lot of the same friends. It's nice not to be considered the "cool older sister", I am just like the rest of them.

While we do fight a lot, we make up really quickly, because most issues we have are stupid sibling fights: who gets the T.V., what to have for dinner, what movie to see. But it is always fun because there are 3 of us, which means majority rules, something we tend to go by most of the time depending on the situation.

Having 3 teenagers in the house can be a handful for our parents though, when you have three teenage girls going through puberty at relatively the same time, it can be grueling, especially when you are all on your period at the same time.. (yes, that has happened before) (and yes, it sucks). While I am on the topic, let's say a prayer and a thank you to my dad for dealing with 5 girls (including the dog, obviously) because he does a pretty damn good job at dealing with all of us.

When we were younger, we always had a play date even when one was canceled. We all made up songs and dances and would perform them for our parents. We even had a band called The Halsey Sisters (AKA the female version of The Jonas Brothers) where we had a hit song called "We Got The Heart and Soul". It was a hell of a time. Let's just say the music video for that song is, interesting to say the least.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't switch my sisters for anything in the world, they are my rocks, and I wouldn't want it any other way, Grace, Caroline, keep doing what you're doing, because you're pretty damn awesome.

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