How to Say Goodbye
Ever since my dear sister Chana, of blessed memory, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, when it comes time to say goodbye to someone, I often reflect on whether this will be the last time I see this person or they see me. Mind you, not in a morbid way, but when I think about it, it is another alert for me to wake up and savor the moment in a deeper way. Here is why . . .
The truth is that saying goodbye for the day to a coworker is not much different than saying goodbye to someone you know you won’t see for a long time. Why? Because if you are staying in the moment – the future and the past are equally just illusions. The future is only a probability. Sure the probability you will see your co-worker is more than saying goodbye to a friend moving overseas but one must realize that it is only varying probabilities not a certainty.
The Noble Man knows that uncertainty, not knowing what is next, is one of the greatest gifts we have been given! It is what makes life full and is what keeps us alert and awake to life. The fact is that people who run through their lives in a walking sleep, live in the past or in an imagined but equally illusory future.
Live the moment of goodbye, see it as a celebration of a connection made. And what about the pain? It is unavoidable. The desire to unite and connect (spiritually, sexually, or otherwise) with another person is the greatest pleasure we have and so it holds that disconnection is among the most painful things. It is this pain that is natural. Sadness on the other hand is a different story. Sadness is defined as “Causing sorrow or gloom” and this is represented by you projecting these emotions into the future. A nobleman has a higher purpose in life that is based on savoring the present and helping those around you do the same. Acknowledging the pain of separation is natural – dwelling on it until it becomes sadness and projecting your emotions into an illusory future is unhealthy. Remember you do not know what the future holds and what the true meaning of this separation is! Not knowing the future is a wonderful thing! A great description of a hell is knowing exactly what was going to happen to you every moment of the day! Acknowledge the pain of goodbyes, savor a connection made, but get back on your path!