What Kinda Gone

My world blew up this summer. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but this is me telling the story here, and I’m feeling a titch over the top today. What can I say? To know me is to love me. :)SO. My world. Exploding. And we are not talking colorful bursts of fireworks illuminating the night sky. This summer, too many important people in my life either made the decision to move up, move on, or move forward, and as the young folk would say, I am shook.

Goodbyes are a natural part of life. From a young age we start to experience goodbyes and the angst – sometimes big, sometimes small – that goes with it. Parents going off to work for the day, grandparents returning home after a visit, even the loss of a beloved family pet, all help children start to understand that there are different reasons and feelings that go with parting ways. Saying goodbye to your favorite fourth-grade teacher knowing full well you will see her next September is a lot different than saying goodbye to your ten-year-old *we know each other’s secrets and share everything* best friend moving across the country. I will never forget moving from my family home on Knightsbridge Road to Montreal the summer I turned ten. That last day, my best friend, Nancy, and I had exchanged journals that we agreed to record all of the events happening in our lives so we could share them when we most certainly, pinky swear promised, would visit each other next summer. As we pulled away, I remember staring out the back window of our family Oldsmobile until Nancy was just a tiny dot at the end of her driveway. I never saw her again.

As someone who has moved countless times, this same scene has played out over and over again in my life and I have discovered that one of the issues around parting ways is the uncertainty of whether you will see each other again or whether your relationship will survive the separation. There is a country song called What Kinda Gone that describes all the ways you can be parted: gone for the day, gone for the night, gone for good, good and gone, lol and that’s what makes saying goodbye so tricky. What kind of gone is it going to be? We can have the best intentions to stay in touch, but before you know it life happens, and a day turns into a week turns into a month turns into…. someone we used to know.

And there it is. What I have realized is that there is a relationship between goodbye and grief. You see, goodbye is often the end of a relationship or at the very least the changing of a relationship due to time or distance. When we say goodbye, not only are we going to miss the individual, but also the shared experiences that have created a bond. It is a loss, plain and simple, and I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by the feelings that have been drudged up every time one of these important someones in my life has told me they were leaving. Just like with grief, there is that initial shock, many tears, and a whole lot of denial. How can I live without you?!

But unlike grief – Luke will forever be my hardest goodbye – when someone you love has a change in circumstance, ultimately it holds a feeling of happiness. New jobs, new homes, new adventures are all wonderful reasons to move from familiar faces to the excitement of fresh possibilities. It might be goodbye, but it is also good luck!

So, if you are reading this and wondering if you are one of the too many special someones moving out of my world this summer, you probably are. And in that case, I only have one question for you – what kinda gone are we talking about here? Let’s pinky swear to the short kind. I love you. Xxx