How to say goodbye when you don’t want to.

person writing on black board with chalk
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What are you saying goodbye to? A past way of living? A dream you had? Someone that you were holding onto with all inside of you? Are you saying goodbye to that special person on the bed of a hospital?

Although some people might think there is no comparison between saying goodbye to a dream or to a loved one; for the person experiencing “the giving up” and “the surrender”, the pain may be overwhelming. I am saying goodbye to a woman in my life that taught me so many things, from cooking to laughing at the simplicity of life. She was always there when I was growing up, always with an incomparable love, delivery and care: My Grandma.

How painful is a farewell that you didn’t see coming? You were not ready for it, and there was a specific way you wanted it to be, but life surprised you. You have no other option but to surrender to the powerful magnitude of life. There is no other way around it, it is what it is. And it’s real… …it’s happening and you are there trying to find the most peaceful way to take all that you are feeling out of your chest. I feel you.

Before my grandma passed away, she could barely talk, she was lying on a hospital bed. But she said to me: Life is beautiful, it is worth living. She said, ” I love you”, and until very her last breath; she taught me to cherish life as it is, without expecting perfect endings. Her words perforated my heart but gave me the strength I needed to understand that life has a beautiful meaning and that everything has a time to come to an end.

cheerful teenager playing with grandmother guess who game while making surprise in light living room
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Let me share with you 7 steps to help you say goodbye with love:

  1. Faith. In moments where discouragement has settled in your mind and your heart, when no matter what you do, you can’t go against destiny, there is only a place where you can turn to in this situation: ” A supernatural force”, for me, this is God. You are full of fear, heartache and anxiety. Overwhelmed with doubts, even if you try to think positively, a voice inside keeps telling you “all is coming to an end”. All the “smart reasoning” is useless in the moment of pain, you need something bigger than yourself to pull you through; perhaps you are in need of a miracle. There you are, praying for one when your life is falling apart, and that’s when your miracle comes in the form of “faith”. Faith will put your broken pieces back together and will give you the strength to surrender and accept the will of life.
  2. Cast your eyes on the future. Life has to go on, and holding onto something that is ending won’t change reality. There is not a “straight line life”, everything that goes up has to fall down. Nothing is permanent and that’s the beauty of life. What you have is the “NOW”, and the hope that the future holds the best for you. The future will always bring new experiences that will purposefully fill your heart with a new passion.
  3. Trust that everything happens in the right way. I know, this was not what you pictured, you thought that you still had some time. But life said the opposite. That’s ok, this is how it was written, how it was meant to happen. Feel it, live it, and let it be.
  4. Be objective and put your emotions to rest. Allowing yourself to feel your emotions is important in order to heal, don’t bottle them up. However, don’t let them take control of the situation, try to reason with what’s happening and do your best to invite acceptance into the situation.
  5. Express all the love and gratitude that is in your heart. Some people find it difficult to say goodbye with gratitude and love because they are afraid of showing their emotions. They think expressing gratitude or kind words makes them look weak. When in reality, it requires strength to be humble enough to say a farewell with a positive note. Don’t lose the opportunity of healing quickly, and moving on just because of your pride or ego.
  6. Yes, you’re going to miss it/ him/ her/ them. But move on and move forward. The time for you to redirect your life has come; changes are good because of that. It’s a new start, a new opportunity. That goodbye has marked the beginning of new seasons in your life. Go and live, because life is beautiful and it’s worth living. “Courage isn’t having the strength to go on, it’s going on when you don’t have the strength.”
  7. Give the best of you NOW, not tomorrow. Don’t live with regrets, live every day with pain, love, laughter or sadness. Whatever the day comes with, be open to experiencing it fully. I understand you, some goodbyes are way too painful, but some doors are getting closed, so that new ones can be opened bringing new out-comings. Say goodbye to that stage of life with the best of you, be at peace, be humble and embrace the calmness that accompany the endings in life.
micro photo of yellow flower
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When we say goodbye, we are giving a farewell to a part of us that dies too. Our hearts are exposed, we show vulnerability and that is why we cry. We are surrendering all, we are letting life have its way. With an open heart, let it flow in its natural way. You are going to be ok. Everything will work in your favor, and every single broken piece will be put together not as new, but a stronger version of you. Have the faith to believe that the best is yet to come and that you will find that person or old dream brightening up your new path.

To my beloved grandma: Arise and shine for your light has come. The sun is shining brighter now because of you. In any sunset, there will always be you, just like the day you said goodbye to me. I will always miss you, but I know you are up there looking out for me. I love you abuelita.