The Disappointing Side of Goodbyes

What is it about goodbyes that make people act so weird? I’ve had some truly terrible experiences with leaving. It seems like every time I make a big move and disappear for years, the people I want to spend time with also disappear. They say mean things or avoid spending time with me. I still choke back tears when I think about my going away party before leaving for Peace Corps. I don’t even know how to describe it besides disappointing.

Disappointing is a good way to describe my experience with goodbyes. What is it about the whole process though that brings out the non-coping mechanisms in so many people? And why do people think it is better to avoid spending time with the person leaving, rather than spending as much time as possible? Is it an attempt to wean themselves off another person? I get that the whole process is awkward, emotional, and jarring, but avoidance only leads to regret and bitterness. Is that the memory you want to carry with you? If you are sad that someone is moving or leaving, tell them. Just say it and get it out of the way. There is no shame in feeling emotions. The worst thing you can do is squander an opportunity to spend those last moments together, simply because you were afraid of saying goodbye. In my opinion, there’s nothing that hurts more than giving someone an opportunity and watching them waste it.

Moving is always bittersweet. I just hope that this time I will be left with more sweetness than bitterness.


2 thoughts on “The Disappointing Side of Goodbyes

  1. In all seriousness, let me know if you want to meet up wen you get here. My husband and I are both RPCVs (both sub-Sa Africa!), too! Sounds like we have a lot in common :-). Keep me posted!

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