In Memory of Goodbyes that Never Happened.
Every day I am reminded of how little time we have left with the people we care most about. I try not to think about it too often — counting days, then hours and minutes until there are no more seconds left, no more numbers on the clock or pages in a calendar to turn can be agonizing.
But it’s true — there is so little time left.
Today, on a dark, rainy evening, I’m especially reminded of how quickly the days fly past us and how easily we forget to value what we have in our lives. So I thought I’d write about it.
I’m terrible at goodbyes.
If you have ever known me enough, you’ll notice how long I linger at the door, how tightly I’ll hug you and how quickly the tears creep up when our time together is over. The idea of leaving is synonymous with losing and the idea of losing more moments together is especially heartbreaking.
But goodbyes are important. They are preludes to “Hello again!” and new days together. I say that to stop myself from turning into the Incredible Sulk sometimes.
I could never say goodbye to some people and because of this I will never say goodbye to them again. Maybe I could whisper it and hope they hear but the truth is, they won’t and I’ve lost every chance I ever had to tell them how much they meant to me.
If I had any regret in my life, this would be it.
It is sobering to realize that the people who love you the most, the friends who text you when they realize something is not quite right and the family that force feeds you an extra piece of chicken only have so many more years to love, text and shove fried poultry down your throat.
One of the the people I never had a chance to say goodbye to, brought me out of my shell of sadness and instilled in me, confidence, hope and eventually the unwavering softness to love and be loved in return. But I never tried hard enough, never noticed the ticking clock on the wall in time, to say thank you and goodbye. And when it was all over and the shock of loss had left me feeling hollow and devastated, I realized that I would never be able to thank them again.
I guess I thought I’d always have time. That tomorrow would come and with it, more opportunities to try again. But tomorrow became a string of yesterdays and I was left with nothing but guilt and a tinge of shame. If only I had realized sooner.
I don’t know where I’m going with this.
I guess I just wanted to tell you to be more appreciative of the good people in your life. The type of people who keep you confident, who tell you “You can!” when you can’t and who pick up the phone at 4 in the morning just to hear you sobbing over something or the other. Be appreciative of the friends who copy their notes for you when you’ve missed class, who have you back when the weight of your woes are too much to bear, who listen to you. Remember to thank your family for the many times you didn’t realize how much they do and have done and will continue to do for you. Tell your girlfriend that you love her. Tell your crush that you think they’re the bees knees. Kiss your dog. Feed your goldfish. Go hug someone who makes you smile.
Don’t be afraid to show appreciation.
Be afraid of never being able to tell someone you love them, until it’s too late.