Sunday Scribblings: Goodbyes
I did not want to be asked to speak of Goodbyes this weekend, but Goodbyes have been on my mind. These have some small goodbyes: Last week, two computers, a dead microwave, a never-used sewing-machine gone to recycling. In bags to charity shops over the last months, Goodbye to too-small and too-big clothes, stained, strained and colour-drained clothes. In at least eight apple-boxes, books, novels that will never be re-read. In recent times, I’ve acknowledged my farewells to young skin, perfect eyesight, the idea that I’ll ever be a size 10 again.
In the last year, too many sad Goodbyes. Friends lost to long illnesses or sudden, swift death. My father sits in a sad silence, counting the friends he has lost in recent times. My mother seems to have chosen to leave us, retreating into a place where she has now forgotten the names of all the people she has had to say Goodbye to.
I am a woman holding a loss, hearing the echoes too often in my days of a Goodbye my husband did not speak aloud. Four years on – today – I still hear it, I still want to say “Wait!” – sometimes. Sometimes, it feels like the Goodbye has been said, like it is finished, and I breathe a sigh and say “That’s that, then. It’s finally over, finally behind me.” And later: a day later, a week later, a month later, a memory, an incident, a question, a movie, a song, standing stirring a stew, will remind me, will call him back, and the process of finishing that last Goodbye starts all over again.
You do not want to hear about those Goodbyes again and again. They fill my pages. They leak from my eyes. I have been trying to complete those Goodbyes by leaving go of the reminders. I have said Goodbye to the ugly curtains and ugly carpets that filled our home. I have sent away the bulk of his books and his stuff. Out the furniture and fittings that surrounded our life, and instead I am creating a home of my own, in shades of lemon and cream, filled with light and freshness.
But today, thinking about the Goodbyes, I don’t know if I can bear to read of many other Goodbyes and still, I want to honour and witness the losses and Goodbyes that I know are part of the life of all my companions on this road. If I do not comment on your Sunday Scribbling this week, please know that I am with you too. Blessings to you all.
Just a few hours later, I've read through some 50 Sunday Scribbling posts on the theme of goodbyes, and I have been touched, awed, inspired by the writings and the sensibilities of the wonderful community who come here to share each week. Far from making me feel sad, I've been given new perspective (or aided to regain perspective) and new understanding about the nature of life, and the fact that with each Goodbye, there is a Hello, and that everyone who has been in my life has been here for a reason (or many reasons), and for all of that, I am grateful indeed. Thank you all.
Labels: Sunday Scribbling.