I have a few goodbyes coming up and contemplating how to do them honorably has left me in a bit of a funk. I am also suffering from a post-dash injury: an over-zealous pedicurist, horrified at my mud-caked feet, went completely postal and gouged me with a very sharp mud-cleaning instrument. My toe is inflamed and so am I. Additionally, there might have been mud gnats as I have some kind of rash from the waist down...could possibly be poison ivy.
But back to the goodbyes: how to say them? Therapists have their own word for saying goodbye: Termination. It is an honest word because the promises we all make to each other when we are saying goodbye very rarely come to pass. They are smooth phrases that ease the transition but as I have gotten older, just hit me with the truth: I like you a lot, but I'm not going to drive 45 minutes to see you, so it looks like this is it. I know in my heart that there are some folks I truly care about a great deal whom I will never see again. Maybe being in a funk is not about figuring out how to say goodbye, maybe it is about the stone, cold fact that saying goodbye is part of being human. We travel on and often, we do it alone. Maybe it is contemplating that my kids will say goodbye to me someday, and move to Switzerland or Texas. Maybe it is about the fact that I moved away from my parents, and now they are aging.
And then it comes to me: the names of the few folks who have not allowed me to say goodbye. The ones who show up routinely even though we live thousands or hundreds or tens of miles apart. The ones I can see once every few years and no time has passed. My soul sisters/brothers. You just never know which relationships can morph into those, the ones that transcend termination. Those are also part of the human condition.
As an aside, I have picked my summer reading program: the intersection of science and religion. Please join me. The first book, which took about 2 months to read is "Cosmic Jackpot: Why our universe is just right for life" Paul Davies. My husband called it "pop physics". It had enough heft to it to make a nice thud when it hit him.