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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rethinking a Goodbye

I don’t like goodbyes. Not one little bit. They are an unnecessary dramatic conclusion. To me a goodbye signifies an end. And most often an end is a negative thing – so why goodbye?

When my son was around two years old he refused to say goodbye. He would hug people, say “love you” and then quickly leave the rest of us to our dramatic send off. I think he was on to something.

My long time email/pen pal used to sign every email to me with some sort of “goodbye.” Each time I would read through the email and enjoy the inevitable chuckle it provoked, but then it would lead to a formal “have a nice life” sort of ending. It made me crazy.

As I head off for a three week leave from my Austrian home, I found myself once again dealing with “goodbyes.” I appreciate the effort certainly, but being the sensitive soul that I am, I am horribly uncomfortable with the finality of a goodbye. I accept that things change and that sometimes it can be painful to part. But it does not have to be a goodbye. Does it?

I would like to think that a goodbye is more like the end of a chapter. And as you turn the pages to another chapter and perhaps another you will soon find that there was no need for a goodbye. Whether it is three weeks, 10 years or a lifetime – why say goodbye? How about see you soon? Then we can just keep turning the pages and see what the next chapter holds.

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