What Does Goodbye Really Mean?
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What Does Goodbye Really Mean?

When I tell you goodbye, I mean more than just the words I'm saying.

What Does Goodbye Really Mean?

I'm not a person who has an easy time saying goodbye. That's okay. Goodbyes come in all kinds of ways. Sometimes, they are wanted, other times not. They carry happiness and excitement as well as heartbreak and anguish. Goodbyes sometimes leave you exposed to the elements, feeling nothing but numbness. Goodbyes have the power to change the course of our lives for better or for worse. But we still say goodbye.

We say goodbye to our loved ones in the morning when they leave for work. We say goodbye to our friends when we go home at the end of the semester. We say goodbye often. All the time in fact. We say goodbye to the strangers that we meet once, on a gloomy Monday morning on bus ride to work. We say goodbye to the barista who hands us our mid-morning cup of coffee at the local coffee shop in a routinely manner, almost automatically, after she hands us the antidote to our exhaustion. We say goodbye, but what we really mean is, I'll see you later. We say both goodbye and see you later in a synonymous way, but those two sayings have completely different meanings. "See you later" is light, has no deep meaning and is our way of saying that we don't want to say goodbye. Goodbye on the other hand, is profound. We say goodbye when we mean, God be with you and may your life be full of blessings; because we know that sometimes goodbye is permanent.

The thing about goodbyes is this: we never know if they will be permanent until we say "goodbye" to one who has already passed on. We assume that at the end of the day our families will make it home safely and we take it for granted when we are eating dinner under the same roof each night. We assume that when we say goodbye to someone who we have no intention of seeing again or to someone who, logically, we don't think we will see again because our lives are on opposite paths, that this goodbye will be the last words spoken. But how do we know that we are destined to remain apart? Fate has a funny way of intervening in ways we could never imagine. Sometimes we will again cross paths with the one we thought was gone from our lives forever. Why do we so desperately desire to say goodbye to the ones we love when they are dying? Why do we say goodbye when they have already passed into an eternal slumber? Because goodbyes are important to us in nature, for whatever reason. That reason is up to you to figure out.

The next time I tell you goodbye, please remember this. I am wishing you the best from the deepest part of myself, even if my conscious mind has other thoughts racing through it. Remember that when I say goodbye, I don't know what the future holds. When I say goodbye, in between the words spoken in our parting I have sent a message of love to you, no matter how long I have known you. Remember that I am sending a part of myself with you just because we met. That part may be small and may only consist of one interaction that will fade from your memory over time. That part also may be a bunch of memories that helped you to define who you are. When I tell you goodbye, please remember that I am sending my faith with you. I am asking God to watch over you.

Don't take "goodbye" for granted. One day, you will say goodbye to someone you love for the last time. You may expect it, or maybe you never saw what happened coming. But someday, we will all say goodbye to the ones we love and cherish for the last time.

So for now...


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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