sky full of stars

I guess I always knew that the words good and bye don’t just sit together side by side like that for no reason. There must be something good in goodbyes, although I know how difficult it is to accept that–especially if you’re the one who stays instead of the one who leaves.

So, what’s so good about goodbye, anyway?

You may ask yourself this question as you’re witnessing someone else’s back walking away from you. Your heart is aching as the figure is getting smaller and smaller before completely turning into a chaotic blur; and you wonder what goes wrong only to realize that your eyes are already welled up in tears. You have promised not to cry this time, that you’re going to be strong, that you know this day will come, that everything is going to be okay; but there are things in life that you can’t control–like tears and goodbyes, and it’s okay. It’s okay to feel sad over goodbyes. We are only human after all.

But I know that I have experienced a lot of good things in life after goodbyes–even when I wasn’t the one who initiated it;  even when it hurts; and even when during the grip of grief I could not see how things could possibly be better. Goodbyes have made me respect myself better, pulled me out from toxic relationships, threw me into the arms of a person who is more loving, reminded me of living a life without regret, showed me the things I can and cannot tolerate in life. Goodbyes have made me appreciate the present and taught me that each moment are sacred, taught me how to be empathetic, and opened up my heart to become even more loving and compassionate–knowing that everyone has been dealing with painful goodbyes. Goodbyes have also made me so broken-hearted I spent my days chasing my childhood dreams simply to stay functioning; and unexpectedly reaped such wonderful results which feel… amazingly sweet.

And then I kind of get it.

Someone who loves you simply wants to be with you–for who you are, with all your flaws and imperfections, right here, right now.

What’s so good about goodbyes is not something that you can answer in an instant. It’s not something for the now. It’s something that will unveil itself to you through time.

I am not going to write anything poetic or sentimental about goodbye this time; because today, it’s about you.

I just want you to remember those instances in your life when you have to say goodbye to someone–or when someone has to say goodbye to you; since you’re a little child until about 5 years ago. How many goodbyes have you experienced in life? Is there one particular goodbye you remember vividly? What are the goods coming out of that goodbye?


16 Responses

  1. well, I do have a lot of good-bye in my life. It is kind of sad moment when you have to leave or to be left behind. I am talking about friendship, the more we get older, the less we have ‘true’ friend. And when we leave them (physically), it is just that sad.

    after reading this posting, I remember one of The Script’s song,
    No Good In Goodbye 😀 . I love the song.

    1. it’s true that as we get older, the circle is getting smaller, but I also love to think about it in a way that we have grown and may have learned to appreciate certain qualities in ourselves and in other people–so maybe today it’s no longer about how many friends that we have but how many of them we can really trust and can accept us when we are not our great(est) self 🙂 and you are right there–that the smaller the circle, the more it saddens us when we need to say goodbye to one of them… there’s also a song from Reba McEntire:

      “So tell me what’s so good about goodbye?
      What’s so good about watching good love die?
      He’s the kind you can’t forget
      So I won’t even try”

      Hahahahah 😀

  2. Hello. Your post comes at a very right time. It’s a week after I have just to say goodbye for my lovely Dad. It was all unprepared, not even any sign given from him the day before he went away for good. I am now on my way to live with this ‘goodbye’. However, one thing that I know for sure, there is no good way to say goodbye. Whether you know or don’t know when the right time to say goodbye is, saying goodbye in either way is…devastating, isn’t it? =).
    Anyway, your post has made me feel ‘accompanied’ in a strange way. Seeing that someone (probably) is being in the same goodbye situation as me is somehow…relieving. So, thank you =)

    1. Hey, I am truly sorry for your loss…

      I have lost my Mother, too–and it was indeed difficult and intense, but today, 3 years later; I realized that the experience has changed me deep inside and changed the way I see myself, the world, relationships, and motherhood. It was a profound discovery that, sadly, had to come into light when I lost her.

      But I guess the divine plan always has the right timing; although we may not be able to understand it today (why it happens, why it happens now, why it happens this way)–I hope in a few years down the road we could start to see why it needs to happen to take us to the next stage of our lives.

      Thank you for sharing your story :’) #hugs

      1. This is a very insightful thought of you.
        Yes, I do believe what Dad gave to us will take the whole family to the next stage of our lives. Parents will always be parents. They will always give the best for us in any kind of way. And I’m sorry for your loss too. May your mom rest in peace. #hugs.

  3. Maduuuu…
    I have lost my older sister 10 years ago, and it was indeed difficult too :'(
    Butuh 3 tahun untuk benar2 melepas, ikhlas bahwa dia udah ga ada.
    Dalam tiga tahun itu selalu menghindar ikut ke makam kalo ga bener2 dipaksa. Krn kalo ke makam berarti menyadarkan bahwa dia udah bener2 pergi dan ga akan kembali.
    But, there must be something good in goodbyes, right? 🙂

  4. i dont believe in goodbyes.

    another chapter to close. and another to begin.
    perhaps it boils down to the choices we have to make.

    but underneath all that
    we loved. and we lived.
    the ending and the beginning is simply a routine.
    it is what happens in between that counts.

    everything else is meant to disappear.
    only the soul remains immortal.
    and so shall be the beautiful emotions that it gave birth to.

      1. hanny,
        i’d hugged you if i could..

        ‘Everything will be alright in the end,
        If it is not alright then it is not yet the end.’

        I believe in that. goodbyes or no goodbyes.
        when it is meant to happen,
        somehow the universe has an uncanny way of making us ready for it.

        take care now.

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Legs and Apples
Do it because it’s fun. Because it brings you joy; because it’s meaningful to you. Do it because it gives you simple tiny pleasures. Do it because it makes you smile.
The view from De Klok
I took another digital detox this weekend—I limited myself to a 5-minute screen time on Saturday and Sunday to quickly check my business account. I closed my social media account for the rest of the days.
Hanny illustrator
I am an Indonesian writer/artist/illustrator and stationery web shop owner (Cafe Analog) based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I love facilitating writing/creative workshops and retreats, especially when they are tied to self-exploration and self-expression. In Indonesian, 'beradadisini' means being here. So, here I am, documenting life—one word at a time.