The Art of Goodbye

How many times do you say goodbye to people on a daily basis? Are some of those people strangers? Sometimes I say goodbye to my cashier (Weird?). The Italians say, “salve” and “ciao”. The French say, “au revoir” for goodbye. In Spanish goodbye is…I don’t know how to say goodbye in Spanish.

I say farewell to people about six times a day if I’m busy. Recently I’ve increased saying goodbye almost on a daily basis. Why? Because my friends and I are going away to college. One of my dearest friends (T) is four hours away from my chosen college (tear). We’ve already looked at train routes for future visits. Monday night my friend group/lunch table ate dinner together at our local town eatery as a farewell meal. Only half of our group (seven of fourteen) was able to attend because the others moved into their dorms early. The atmosphere at our table was energizing and bittersweet. All of us discussed our summer, college classes, siblings, nostalgia for high school, and pop culture. No one wanted to address the elephant on the table: Goodbye

Did we eventually discuss our farewells? Yes, but not as I expected. We didn’t wait until the end of the dinner date to introduce the red headed stepchild at the table. J (friend) brought it up in the middle of dinner. “So, we know why we’re all here eating for the last time together Lunch Table, to say goodbye.” J always is blunt with everything. Our group came up with a plan to stay in contact (and pass along a written plan to the ones missing from dinner). Skype was the easiest way for us to keep in touch other than phoning. I felt like we were part of the novels (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) written by Ann Brashares as we discussed everything at dinner.

In the end I know that I won’t be able to keep in contact with everyone in our friend group and I’m fine with that. As people grow, our interests, locations and priorities change. For the past ten years our priorities have been able to include friends but now priorities are already changing.We are honorable and terrific girls and one guy but there are so many of us. There are subgroups within our whole group and eventually we’ll be doing well to keep in contact with them. Maybe in five years we’ll see each other again as a whole group. Our futures are bright and full of goals and that alone satisfies me.

There is no art of saying goodbye. IF there is an art, perhaps the art of goodbye is telling the people you care about just how much you’ll miss them.

Our dinner Group

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