Monday, February 14, 2005

It’s been a long, and a sad, goodbye.

Hellos are so quick and inconsequential.

At least, I’ve never had one of those earth-shaking moments, one of those nuclear locking-of-eyes you read about in stories, hear about in songs, where you know that in that one brief moment of acquaintance-making your life has been forever changed.

Nope. That’s never happened to me. In fact, I’d say it’s a rare occurrence that I even remember the name of someone I’ve just met.

Goodbyes, on the other hand... Man, they can rock my world.

Maybe it’s because I have a tendency to take people’s presence in my life for granted until they’re no longer there. Or maybe it’s because I feel that the goodbyes happen so much more frequently than the hellos (or feel so much more significant), and I don’t like the fact that each goodbye is not accompanied by a corresponding and equally significant hello.

When my grandfather died (my mom’s dad), I never really had a chance to say goodbye. It was sudden: one day he was there, and the next day he wasn’t. But when my grandmother died (my dad’s mom), it stretched on for a long time and took no one by surprise. In fact, my dad, his sister, and their dad were all together in the room with her when it finally happened.

Both scenarios suck. Or I should say, neither one is easier than the other. And in the end, the result is the same. Someone you care about is gone from your life.

I feel like my current goodbye has been stretching on forever. Days, months...years even. And that certainly hasn’t been fun. At this point, I’m actually looking forward to it being over. I guess there is some value to the ripping off of the proverbial band-aid. I mean, how long can you be in pain before actually doing some sort of damage? How long before a wound goes from temporary to permanent?

I certainly don't know. And thinking back, I guess it all started with “hello.”


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