How To Say Goodbye


Saying goodbye is actually, probably, the worst thing in the world– if you don’t want to say it, that is. Otherwise it could potentially be the best thing, but maybe still a little awkward or strange. For example, if you’re at a party with a group of people and you’re feeling mysteriously anti-social and you don’t want to stop everyone in order to acknowledge your exit but you desperately want to go home and you just can’t muster the courage… It can be complicated. Saying goodbye is always somewhat complicated but that’s what makes it a “goodbye” in the first place. Here we will examine the process for both practical knowledge and menial recreation:

Is it possible to welcome a goodbye? If you are excited to say goodbye, to a prison that you’d been concealed within for three days, for example, then is it really a goodbye? Or is it simply a triumph of impasse? The word “sayonara” comes to mind… Japanese for “goodbye,” although it carries with a much deeper intention of finality. The word, in my English bias, sounds somewhat satirical or jovial. “Sayonara!” With a hiss of the tongue, a projection of the throat, and a short nasal-like cheer at the end. It sounds like a fun dessert. Or a cute girl who wants to become a veterinarian when she grows up. This is certainly the most appropriate for singing or uttering in situations which you feel completely detached from already.

THE WORST is saying goodbye to someone who has died. If you didn’t know the person or care at all, then you wouldn’t say goodbye. About 150,000 die each day. Because you know that you will never see this special person again saying “goodbye” is the only thing you’re left to do. A lot of people will invent ideas about reconnecting with the dead in some form of “afterlife” or something like that, but sometimes that can actually be less helpful because it creates all of these unrealistic parallels in logic. The person you’re saying goodbye to can’t sense or acknowledge that you’re saying goodbye to them, which in itself is quite difficult. An exception, if you’re lucky, would be seeing them again in a dream, provided that the dream leaves you feeling better when you wake up. Saying goodbye at a ceremony is often comforting for the community of people effected by the loss of an individual. Goodbye, in this context, is really the truest most meaningful sense of the word. The goal here is to create closure. A true goodbye means there is nothing else, it’s over, finished. There’s inherent beauty in this, just as much as there is pain. It speaks to the height of human experience, illuminating the present for those who are alive.

When girls say “byeeee” in real life it becomes contagious. This is a casual way to tell someone that you’re leaving, marked by the involuntary grin which its audible sentiment resonates. The widespread phenomenon is likely due to the marriage of facial and sonic expression.

Almost as difficult as death, is the regretful parting from a intimate partner. When you have sex with someone, over a long period of time, repeatedly, you become psychologically integrated. Love does all kinds of crazy shit to the human brain and the body, which is why, when you depart from a lover, it feels like a piece of yourself is being ripped out of its sockets. This obviously has a kinds of awful side-effects. For this reason, break-ups can take a very long to recover from. In a way, it is very closely related to death. This type of goodbye requires a strong, relentless surge of rationale. Think about the time you had to dissect a frog in biology class and it made you feel a bit sad and then you had to just turn off your brain and do what you had to. It’s kind of like that, but way worse. You can’t keep saying goodbye every moment of every day, acquainted with every faint memory. You have to perform a goodbye ritual for yourself, wherein over the course (a month?) you transition from ending something that is a part of you to actively beginning something else that is just for yourself. I think this is why so many people get dramatic hair-cuts after a break-up.

Less seriously is a temporary separation based in environmental circumstance, which can be relieved by eloquent handling. At the airport or train station, or wherever, you must simply say “à bientôt” and think positively of the next time you will see your lover. A big hug can move you to tears. All of the scents and invisible things will be working in full force. Use the concept of meeting again in the future to avoid emotional upset. Babies can learn object permanence Adults can learn partner permanence, through headstrong logic.

Saying goodbye to ex-co-workers at a place you’ve been to for a while, or to classmates at graduation, is also like saying goodbye to a chapter of your life. This is sometimes a little scary because a lot of expectations come creeping in from the sidelines– what’s next? Even you have something very excited planned, it’s still unknown to you and so naturally, a little weird to enter. This kind of goodbye is usually also like a “thanks for the memories” kind of thing. Or like a goodbye-I-can’t-believe-I-was-forced-to-sit-next-to-you-for-five-years.

Saying goodbye to a friend who is going on a big journey is also like a celebration usually. You’re sad to see them go but you’re also very happy for them because they’re following their dreams or something. Unless they’re going to prison or moving back in with their parents because they got a divorce. Then it’s more of a “call me whenever” because you want to help them through their hardships. This is like a “friends to the end” kind of goodbye.

One time I met an 85-year-old woman with lung cancer who looked fantastic but seemed generally defeated by her diagnosis and we ate cheese and crackers for about an hour. When it was time to leave we said goodbye to each other so cordially, both agreeing that it was nice to meet each other. I wondered if I would see her again, hoped I would. It seemed clear in her mind that she would never see me again, but I’m not a “mind-reader.”

Whatever you do, make sure that you hint that you’re leaving before you actually leave so that the other person gets the idea that you’re going to say goodbye to each other and then they can prepare for that and it won’t seem distasteful or abrupt.