Goodbye. A word we use and hear daily, not just once or twice. A word so common that we have forgotten its meaning, as if the word has ceased to exist. You may even salute to the word. As we say the word Goodbye we seem to take for granted that we will see this living form or lifeless object again.
After a dinner with your parents you say Goodbye. After school, work, training, dates, phone calls, texts, after spending time with your friends you raise your hand and wave Goodbye. Casually talking to a stranger you say Goodbye, with no real concern if you will see this person again or not. Sending your children off to school, kissing your husband Goodbye, shaking your boss' hand and hugging your grandparents, yet not having the slightest thought that this could be the last time you will speak with them.
We all will die: such is the circle of life. We all know it. I know it's not a pleasant thought. We don't choose to be born and we can't escape the fact that death is waiting for us. I'm not trying to scare you or make you think that the grim reaper himself stands around every corner but one day he will swing his scythe. Don't let a word of no meaning be the last thing that you spoke.
Even I make this mistake, too many times. Like the time I spoke with my Grandma - a normal conversation and as tradition we said Goodbye. That was the last time I spoke with her, not of anger or disagreement, because of death. Death won again.
A man sits at the kitchen table fixing up an old computer. In his hand he has a paperclip. He has bent it to function as a hook to fish up the first clip he used, that inconveniently ended up inside the computer, which he won't open because of insurance reasons. I can't remember our conversation, I wish I could hear his voice and not just see a voiceless, moving mouth in my head. I do remember saying Goodbye as I'm closing the door. That was the last time I saw my step dad alive. As I sat next to his lifeless body I said the last Goodbye, and for the first time in my life I said a meaningless word with meaning.
Recently I said Goodbye to my love Sarie as she was flying back to Sydney. The word has meaning but do I mean it? I know in my heart that I will see her again and saying Goodbye is not an option for me. As I said Goodbye I told my first lie to her.
Goodbye. When it has meaning your heart may break, and force a salty tear to run down your red cheek. With meaning it can make you angry, full of rage. Yet it can also bring happiness. A Goodbye can be for joy and so can death. We see in death only sorrow and despair, we see darkness when light shines upon us. What we don't see, is life riding past us. We are too miserable to see it. As we say Goodbye to a life a new will begin, a new dawn is coming and with the sun the darkness will vanish. The dead wouldn't want us to linger in limbo as they do. At the time it's hard to see meaning in a farewell but when you form the sound it comes not from your mouth but from the soul, and you are free. From that moment on you can reach the light step-by-step and see meaning in life yet again. And a Goodbye with no meaning, you will speak of no more.
When death occurs it is hard for everyone, we all deal with it in different ways and we can clash. A family can drift apart, as the one who died was the anchor. We see no reason to speak to one another because we share nothing in common now and the connection we had is gone. We could never be so wrong. This is the time we need to be closer than ever and ask for a hand. Some may think that joy is a lost memory and everything that will happen is meaningless. But joy will come again just as night comes and goes. When joy comes we need to welcome it, as frightened as we may be we all need to welcome lost memories. Death shall not be forgotten, death shall be remembered as a rare and beautiful night sky.
As we say Goodbye to death we welcome joy.