Goodbye, farewell, adios – it’s all about endings…

How are you with goodbye’s?

Saying goodbye is the hardest thing that most of us do. Endings by definition are final and are therefore something that most of us find difficult. 

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 

So with the ending of my time in Somerset just round the corner I have been saying goodbye to people that I have become close to -new friends and colleagues, people that I see every-day– and- of course -the clients that I have worked with over the last few years.  It is tough, but I feel ok with the sadness that this brings. 

Relationships end all the time and most often we don’t have the ability to choose how to end relationships. People stop turning up, stop responding to communications. People fade away, people move, or other things happen that prevent the relationship from ending the way both parties would prefer. 

In today’s world staying in touch has never been easier, but is staying in touch the right thing to do? A question I often ask myself when moving on. The chances are, many of you have people you used to spend time with- and even the ones you attempted to stay connected to often faded away with time and distance. That’s because it takes a significant amount of energy to sustain emotional connections while confronting the demands of everyday life. 

I am ok with goodbyes, it is something that I am familiar with and a way of life for me, I have moved on so many times it has become part of my every-day, but it is emotionally draining and for me it is hard to watch those people who I am leaving behind struggle with the endings that I am inflicting on them – being ok with planned endings has made me stronger and more resilient to life’s unexpected endings. A skill that I feel will be useful in the future.

So acceptance of goodbyes feels like a way to be kind to yourself, making sure that you give yourself space for the relationships you can manage to maintain. 

Finally – is there an art to saying goodbye well? Here are my top tips for managing those difficult moments… 

  • Focus on the positives and what have you gained from the relationship. 
  • Embrace the present and live in the now, try not to dwell on what has been.
  • Understand that sometimes endings are just out of your control.
  • Exit with kindness and grace, this is the last time many people will see you so leave a positive impression. 
  • Finally instead of pulling away from the emotional discomfort, embrace it. 

While there’s never going to be a perfect way to let go of the people you’ve grown accustomed to having in your life,  goodbyes are something we all must face. So let’s do it well and make them as positive as possible.