How do you really say good-bye?

How can you actually whisper those words and let someone slip away…knowing that you won’t see them again on this earth?

Oh…If there wasn’t the certain hope of a forever with God….of knowing in every fiber of one’s being that our Heavenly Daddy was waiting to gather us all together in His arms in one giant group hug and we would be reunited for eternity…if that certainty didn’t exist….how could we go on?

Because even knowing that…it’s hard enough.

It’s the closest thing to impossible, sometimes.

The saying of the actual words, “It’s ok for you to go.”

The dreadful anticipation of not hearing the next breath–which part of you doesn’t want to hear because you so-so-so want peace for this beautiful soul, but the other part of you is terrified by the possibility of silence.

Being scared to walk out of the room to for fear you will miss it mixed with the desire to walk away and return to find it over.

The struggle between wanting just one more touch and wanting them to stop hurting.

And then….when God’s timing is right, the absolute stillness. The “Wait! Wait! Wait!” screaming through your head as your mind struggles to accept that there will be no more puffs of air coming out of those lips ever again.

But those “Waits!” eventually morph into unwhispered “Good-bye’s” and “I’ll miss you’s” and “We’re going to be OK’s“.   And you know that somehow, in some other new world that you’re entirely unfamiliar with, things really will be OK again….someday.

And at some point you have to walk out of that room.  You have to turn and walk away and leave behind you those strong beautiful hands. You can’t be there anymore, because they aren’t there anymore either.

So you step numbly, uncomprehendingly into the alien planet that has just become your new reality.

You come to terms with the fact that something is over. Not just a life, but a relationship. Lots of relationships, really. Your identity is never going to be what it was.

You will walk into rooms that seem familiar, but are no longer full of the sounds it seems they should have. You will have to take deep breaths and literally steady yourself with a hand on the wall as your old and new world collide and violently overlap and the overwhelming tumultuous chaos that no one else seems to hear threatens to engulf you and pull you to the hard wooden floor. You will have to chose to keep standing for just that minute. Then the next. And then the next.

And then, one day, you will realize that you can stand without holding onto the wall. That when you walk past the kitchen you no longer listen for certain things, but instead remember certain things.  And then, truly, a day will come when those memories will actually make you smile.

You will not “get over it”, but you will find a new way to live.  A new way to be. There will still be moments when you have to grab the back of a chair to keep from crumbling or run to another room to keep from screaming….but those days will gradually have more and more space in between them and the “better days” will eventually outnumber the “really really bad days”.

You will realize that things will never be the same again, and learn to live in your new normal. You’ll form new relationships with old friends and realize how very important they are to you.  You’ll become aware of things you’d taken for granted, and find a beautifull new appreciation for the people in your life.

You’ll grow. You’ll change. You’ll survive.

And one day….some day….you’ll realize that you did it. You said “good-bye”…and you have found good again.



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