The Beauty (and Sadness) in Goodbye


April 3, 2013 by Ifeoma Dennis

“We don’t say goodbye…”- Celine Dion (Immortality song)

Goodbyes are hard, but some are harder than others.
Now, I don’t know if this post will make sense or not but I will try.
I’ll start with a story that might help me get to where I am going.

I once had a Blackberry, and I had lots of my close friends on its messenger until the day a black sand beach spoilt my phone. I repaired it but I didn’t go back to it.

And deep down myself, I know why I didn’t go back to it.

It didn’t have anything to do with my sweet friends- the ones I could share “boy-problems” with.

It had everything to do with a particular someone.
I didn’t want to talk with that particular someone- not that the particular person was even on my Messenger, I’d deleted the said person a month BEFORE my phone got hit by the waves- but I knew I would add the said person up again (notice how I am avoiding using pronouns?) because we always do that to each other. Either said person deletes and re-invites me or vice versa. DELETE and RE-INVITE. Delete and re-invite. One endless cycle.

Said person and me are/were not friends on any other social media- Facebook, Skype, Twitter- just that Blackberry Messenger held us together like a thin, fragile string.
It was the only way I could still find said person EXISTING. To me. Close to me.

Even when I left Nigeria, I didn’t give them my number. I didn’t want to re-complicate our lives. I had their number, but I knew I’ll never call. But they might call me. And I might start feeling all nostalgic again.

Ultimately, one day I asked myself- “what does said person contribute to my life in a positive way?”
Nothing positive. Just “dysfunctionality”. I deleted said person, and that time around, we didn’t even have any precursory arguments or anything.

But I was still scared I’ll go back and re-invite said person, or said person might add me again. That was when I knew I was not going back to “pinging” again.

And in a way, I think I’m still scared. What if I run into said person somewhere one day? Will I remember the good times and feel nostalgic? What will I say about cutting them off? Nothing, knowing the kind of person I am. I’ll just look the other way. And they’ll probably do the same.

This kind of goodbye is the hardest. You know, someone you once liked it was like an obsession- and one day, you realize- no, you’re not part of their lives anymore. They’re not part of yours.
You’ll see them and act like you don’t know them.

Even when I started my manuscript last Christmas ( December 2012), I wrote my protagonist with said person in mind. Because in 2011, said person told me to write a main character that had the main behavioral characteristics of my protagonist. It took me more than a year but I did just that at the end.
Old me would have called said person up when I finished my novel and said, “Hey, I’m done with my book. I wrote a character you’ll love!”
But I didn’t. Nor will I.

Good byes are hard.
This blog post is a bit long because I have no way to explain it, but this way.
Good byes are hard, but I guess, in the long run, they help us grow.

And I’m writing this not because of that old goodbye but because each day, we’re faced with new goodbyes. It’s just a part of living.

We say goodbye to people we once loved, we say goodbye to old habits that became part of us.

A gardener has to prune out weeds so his fruits can have more sunlight and grow. And some weeds have flowers, they are even beautiful.
Goodbyes let us know that we own nothing, and all we have is today and what we can do with it.

I guess my next blog post will be on The Next Big Thing.
I’ve been stalling to do this because I haven’t made much progress with my novel— but I guess I have to do it SOON!


13 thoughts on “The Beauty (and Sadness) in Goodbye

  1. For better or worse, you’re right, goodbyes are always difficult….

  2. In a world of social media and constant connectedness, “goodbye” is a lot more complicated and nuanced than it once was. Trust your yeart.

  3. Even though it’s hard to do, it’s sometimes better to make a clean break and stay away. Well done on managing it this time.

  4. cr8tivphenom says:

    Goodbye is the saddest thing I ever said. I think it takes strength to say goodbye. You are a strong woman, Iphie.

    • You’re strong too, Cyndie. Sometimes, knowing your friends went through something and survived it gives you strength to face your own storms…and by friends, I mean lithe women with deep strength- like you.

  5. keith says:

    love it

  6. Deep! Discretely clear! To know where you are going, one has to be sure where they are coming from… In that context, it makes so much sense, the message conveyed in vagueness! Which begs the question, do we ever really say good-bye?! Hmmm… Great write, double thumbs up!!

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"Dreams can get you through anything."

-Cat York


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