I believe in the good in goodbye

Author: Russel Hodges, TCU Student, Journalism Major, Published Fall 2012

I view saying goodbye the same way I view doing chores. Nothing but bitterness arises when my parents tell me to take out the trash, water the garden, or even mow the lawn. However, regardless of how long I procrastinate, or how much I may dread the obligation, I always end up pulling through. Those same distasteful thoughts and feelings reappear every time I have to bid farewell to somebody. It’s strange though. Whenever I complete a task around the house, I always wind up with a weird sense of satisfaction. Interestingly enough, I experience that same satisfaction after I say goodbye to someone. But it just doesn’t add up! Aren’t farewells supposed to be sad? I used to believe so, until one night with my best friend proved to me that goodbyes are just temporary and they will never leave permanent scars.

I had known Bailey for three years, but we never really became close friends until this past summer. As my feelings for her began to grow, it became much harder for me to even contemplate saying goodbye. Nevertheless, I continued to spend as much time with her as possible until my doomsday finally arrived. Little did I know that day would become a memory that will forever be ingrained into the inner walls of my subconscious. I can still remember her lowering her head into my chest as she wrapped her arms tightly around my waist. I could also hear the sound of her sniffling over the passing cars that raced back and forth along the road behind us. Feelings of anger, sadness and frustration began to rush through my veins as I fought every urge in my mind and body to let go. As much as it killed me on the inside, I knew that in order to move along the path of my life and pursue my dreams, I simply had no choice.

Saying goodbye has never been easy for me, and like a chore I had waited until the last possible moment to gather the strength necessary to face my fear. Something wasn’t right though. Throughout my life, I had always succumbed to sadness whenever I needed to bid farewell to somebody. But this farewell was different. The bitter feelings I had been so accustomed to were nowhere to be found. I was happy! Was I losing my mind? How could I feel this contempt about leaving somebody I had shared so many memories with? Suddenly, it hit me like a freight train. With each task completed comes a new task left unattended, just like each farewell brings with it more to come in the future. I knew I would see her again, and although I’m still not sure when that time will come, I learned that there is always good to find in a goodbye.