This is Life, Based on a True Story  

The awkward goodbye

One of the hardest words to say is goodbye.

Like many people, saying goodbye is not something I’m good at. But what is there to be good at?

It’s one word. Yet, it can be so difficult to say. Maybe it’s the finality of what it represents. That goodbye means this is for a long time — sometimes forever as in the case of someone passing away.

I feel like I’ve had a lot of goodbyes to deal with lately, both directly and indirectly.

I recently moved departments at my job, so had to say goodbye to co-workers I’ve jived with for over two and a half years.

It was bittersweet in that it's hard to leave what you know and love, but I went to a new department full of new experiences and equally awesome colleagues.

Indirectly, I recently said goodbye to two people who passed away unexpectedly. I say indirectly because I didn’t participate in either of their life celebrations put on by their respective families.

However, as I knew the families, and in the case of one, was once a part of their lives; I both mourned and said goodbye to two lives that ended far too early.

This whole column though was triggered by a goodbye I had to say this morning.

A good friend and her family are moving for job reasons. It will turn out well for them and I’m happy for her opportunity. But it's still hard to see them go.

It was while saying the final goodbye and giving each other the last hug that I realized how inept I am at doing the whole goodbye thing.

My friend had previously asked me if I wanted the meat and a few other things from their freezer as everything would go bad during the move and she didn’t want to just throw stuff out.

Of course, I said yes and went to pick it up. After everything was packed into my car, my friend and I chatted for a bit and marvelled at how much our lives had changed in two years.

The time came for me to leave, so I gave her a final hug and said “goodbye, I’ll miss you and thanks for the meat.”

Thanks for the meat? That was my final send-off?

I’m afraid it was. But the reality behind that awkward moment is that I was trying not to cry.

What I really wanted to say to her was she means the world to me and I’m going to miss wine nights in her living room surrounded by her baby and husband and cats and good food.

You often hear people say this isn’t goodbye, just so long or till we meet again. And certainly this is also the case with my friend. I can go and visit her and her family and she can come back to visit me here too.

It still doesn’t take away the sting though of someone leaving your immediate, easily accessible world.

So to my friend: so long, I’ll see you soon. Drive safely to your new destination. Kick butt in your new position. Keep a bottle chilled for when I come to visit.

And most important, thanks for the meat.

Thanks for reading.


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About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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