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Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

I needed to stay in home alone tonight.  I feel sad.  Sad about Kristian, sad about my friends who died this year and sad that once again I am on my own:  the vacuum left behind after a wonderful weekend with a great friend.

I have always had and certainly will continue to have a serious problem with goodbye.  Saying goodbye permanently or even temporarily brings up huge feelings of loss, vulnerability and then the anger-the anger overwhelms me.

The genesis of these feelings: I was ripped from my mother’s breast and put up for adoption.  These are primal fears of life and death.   The most profoundly affecting goodbye after my mother’s abandonment was the death of my Darling Big Dog.

When my dog was violently killed the resulting anguish unleashed a torrent of sadness, a great wave of misery that may have resulted from not ever having said goodbye-ever to anyone I loved.  I did not go to my grandfather’s funeral nor my grandmother’s.   I have rigorously avoided any ritual goodbye and for that I am a lesser man.

Whenever I leave a party I just slip away as if saying goodbye will somehow humiliate me.

The same feelings overcome me now after the deaths of three friends in as many months.  Yet the very act of writing about them lends me immediate solace.

The end of relationships causes me unrelenting heartache.

Stoically accepting the end of a relationship?  No, not for me.  Nearly all of the relationships I have had have ended badly.  I never, it seems, get to write that scene in the movie of my life where two people say a dignified goodbye.

The end of my relationship with Joe ended thus:  I knew that I was going to leave but it took me 2 years to end it and when I finally did I tried to do it with tenderness and compassion but he was so angry that he made my life miserable for a full year after I left him-ending up in court fighting over property.

In my mad head I forget that I have choices, the choice to remember that the past no longer runs the show, choices to say goodbye without the reenactment of traumatic and ruinous scenarios.

Today I waved goodbye to a new friend who has come to mean a great deal to me.  Whether there is any romantic future between us is really not up to me-unless I behave in such a way that he would never want to see me again.   This morning I began to get angry, angry that he was leaving but knew that it was for the best.

Even though I was only momentarily angry-until I could identify what was going on in my mad head and break the cycle of abandonment and despair by telling him that I would miss him, that I was feeling sad, that I had no mechanism for making those feelings go away…and by telling him the truth I was freed from behaviors that would alienate him from me forever.

I will say goodbye to Kristian this week, say my heartfelt adieu.   His death has brought up all sorts of STUFF.   I sorted out pictures of us today and will post them as soon as I can.

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8 replies on “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye”

In the previous post (you honored him with photos)…I literally gasped. My God, he was beautiful. For a moment, I envied you. Although your physical intimacy with him was brief, I can imagine it’s the emotional intimacy that leaves you sad. I am also adopted. The One That Abandoned Me showed up when I was 20.. Which is exactly 20 years ago. No eloquence needed–boy, was I pissed. Damned if I didn’t make her PAY too. She’d ruined me, Duncan! You’re not the only can’t say goodbye and quietly leaves. Allow me to add–you leave quietly for different reasons. I leave because I know better than to become attached. For they will ALWAYS leave you. Just the way “she” left “us”. To avoid the inevitable, I simply choose to leave first. We both know what Ive missed out on, don’t we? Either way, it is what it is. I made her pay and last April, at the age of 57, she left me. Again. This time it wasn’t her choice. You can’t predict blood clots. All I know is that I’m in control of nothing. My attempts to protect myself and avoid shame have done very little to create a haven that’s pain free. In the end, we only sabotage ourselves…yes? Funny how that works.

I sometimes think I am alone in my thoughts and fears and then I hear/read about someone as afflicted as me! Raise a glass to the Queen of Never-Can-Say-Goodbye…umm I thought that was me. I am what is left over when friends kill themselves, are eaten by disease or simply disappear. They all say you have a purpose you are here for a reason and I am beginning to realize my quest this time is enduring pain, not having love and for God’s sake being lonely even when I am not alone. I paint a good portrait just don’t open the cover. Bless you, Big Dog and I hope you know you touch people with your blogs and hope it is beneficial to rid yourself of the venon by writing it.

In some cases I’ve had great difficulty letting go when relationships were over, whether by the insurmountable distance of death or by my own continuing needs and desires.

Mostly though it just takes the time it takes, and I’m more accepting of that than I used to be.

Once you’ve had time to understand your difficulty in the process of letting go, you can still say goodbye. You don’t have to miss a funeral just because you didn’t attend. Sit somewhere by yourself, be still, and say farewell from your heart with honesty. It’s an important task, to honor the relationship you shared.
Those who are gone are already taken care of. We must do these things to take care of ourselves.

You need a hug darling… I hate it when things have to end too, when I am having a lovely kiddy time being kissed on my neck laughing in Paris, it is why I choose to sleep on my own, as its too painful to say goodbye.. AMANDA

I’m so sorry for all your losses Duncan. I can only imagine how overwhelming the heartache must be for you.

While reading your entry, I was touched by how much you love. What a gift that you are giving to yourself and to those you love. It’s hard to say good-bye because you don’t want to — because you care so much for them, even when you know saying goodbye is the right thing to do, it hurts because you care — and that’s never a bad thing. Keep your heart open and keep on loving. We need more people like you in the world.

Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.
Just walk beside me

Duncan, I had no idea you were adopted…I don’t think people get how tough that can be…

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