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View Full Version : Tearful Goodbyes.



T-6005
11-22-2009, 04:51 PM
Over the years, it feels like I've become inured to goodbyes. I've moved around a lot, Toronto being the only city I've ever lived in more than three years, and so I feel I've lost the senses that come with saying goodbye.

On the one side, you've got the standard goodbye, the one you say when someone leaves your house, the flippant "bye" occasionally accompanied by a hug if you're saying it to someone especially attractive - aimed at someone you know you'll see again. It's careless and more of an acknowledgement that the evening has come to an end than anything.

The opposite end of the spectrum is the powerful, tearing goodbye - the one when you know someone is leaving forever, that they're moving away or in extreme cases dying. This one is generally reserved for special occasions (obviously, you don't want to be bawling as you deliver your "see you tomorrow" every time a friend is over) and there are some pretty clear signs that accompany it in case you have trouble telling the difference. Some start differentiating the goodbyes at earlier stages than others - if you're going to be gone for two months, you'll always get the overemotional friend who cries for some reason, while you've got the kind of people who can't say goodbye until their parent is on a deathbed, if then.

Over the years I've met a handful of people like myself who have taken the second category of goodbye and folded it into the former. Leaving countries forever simply isn't a big emotional deal. Certainly, losing friends has its own brand of discomfort and even pain, but in the end you've just left places behind so often that you're prepared for the departure for months before you say your final adieu, and when the time comes to separate you've worked through all of your issues. Only the formality of saying it is left. I've found the same tendency in myself (rather less well handled, obviously) at funerals.

It's not nearly as robotic as it sounds, by the way. We aren't heartless automatons with no feelings - we've just learned to work through the process of leaving so well that it happens on its own. Leaving friends multiple times over, girlfriends a few times, and obviously the parents, the process has become familiar. It should come as no surprise that everyone I've ever met with this typified attitude to goodbyes has lived in multiple countries and been moved around quite a bit. People who have moved less deal with the looming change in rather different ways - some shut down, some pull away, and a few become so excited for where they're going you're not sure what's going on in their heads.

The thought comes to mind every time I visit an airport, with people hugging and holding on to each other as if they hadn't already made up their minds about what they were at the airport for.

In this occasion, I was thinking about it because Holly's going to Newfoundland for a week and I was thinking about the airport and moving in general. Do any of you have any idea what I'm talking about when I refer to this process?

Comments, thoughts, ideas, stories...?

Lizardus
11-22-2009, 09:09 PM
But I learned long ago
If you love someone you have to let it go
The hardest part of letting go
Is saying goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye

calichix
11-22-2009, 10:38 PM
so you're worried you'll give her an inappropriate goodbye? do you give people wildly appropriate goodbyes or confuse the goodbye category you should be using?

I always feel really frantic during goodbye forevers because I don't know how to get it across that it's a really big deal to me, because I'm like "well I can't make a teary scene for one coworker and not be able to muster another one for the next coworker" or "well if I make too big of a deal about moving it'll imply I don't plan on keeping in touch". I'm like the Larry David of goodbyes.

T-6005
11-22-2009, 10:45 PM
so you're worried you'll give her an inappropriate goodbye? do you give people wildly appropriate goodbyes or confuse the goodbye category you should be using?

I always feel really frantic during goodbye forevers because I don't know how to get it across that it's a really big deal to me, because I'm like "well I can't make a teary scene for one coworker and not be able to muster another one for the next coworker" or "well if I make too big of a deal about moving it'll imply I don't plan on keeping in touch". I'm like the Larry David of goodbyes.
I guess there's a part of it that's like "well, I've gone through my own leaving process, maybe it seems callous to other people." But for the most part I'm just generally done deconnecting from a place before I leave it.

Maybe I should just permanently switch goodbye categories. Heartbroken breakdowns at Starbucks. Flippant dismissals at funerals. Sobbing fits when a friend goes home. A nod and a casual "bye" when a dear friend leaves forever. It could be fun.

I love the phrase "Larry David of goodbyes," by the way.

Sidewinder
11-22-2009, 11:10 PM
Oh, thought you were leaving or something.

T-6005
11-22-2009, 11:27 PM
Hey man, excuse me for trying to make a worthwhile thread, okay? Excuse me for trying to BRING BACK the BBS and STIMULATE DISCUSSION. Okay, bro?

Sheesh.

Al Coholic
11-22-2009, 11:46 PM
Honestly man if you're gonna leave the boards a goodbye thread's kinda gay.

Tl, DR

calichix
11-23-2009, 10:30 AM
well whatever you do make sure you use the funeral goodbye on your girlfriend. there's nothing more outrageous than a weaksauce airport goodbye/reunion.

T-6005
11-23-2009, 09:07 PM
well whatever you do make sure you use the funeral goodbye on your girlfriend. there's nothing more outrageous than a weaksauce airport goodbye/reunion.

I'm afraid I'm notoriously dry-eyed. I'm also unfortunately not a "pull out all the stops" kind of guy. It's one of my winning personality traits.

Not to mention, this time my girlfriend's trip is only a week long. Generally when I leave it's for at least a month. She seems sadder than me about it, but I just figure if I'm going to be gone two months, I'll be back. If something happens so that I'm not back, well then it has happened. It's an odd state of mind, because counter-intuitively it's not emotionless. It only kind of seems that way because you're someone who's done it before.