The Power of Goodbye

dennis - Palmer, Illinois
Entered on October 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, family
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Have you ever left your home and not said goodbye or I love you to anyone who is there? I believe that you should always at least say goodbye when you leave someone you truly love. This I believe. I believe this because you never know what could happen between the time you leave someone and the time you return to them. This belief was told to me when I was young and it was made stronger just a few months ago when my favorite uncle was losing his battle with cancer.

When I was young, my parents always instilled in me that I should always say goodbye and I love you to family members because it may be quite some time before we could see them again, and they were usually right. Before I knew what could happen between that time and the next visit, I never really said goodbye and I finally realized that a family member I truly loved might not be there the next time I want to see him.

Lonnie, my uncle, was a very strong man in his day and now was becoming very weak. Before he became sick, he would do things like putting the winter cover on his pool or mow the yard, but once he became sick, he could barely get the energy to walk from the house to the pool, let alone run the push mower. As he progressively became, worse my mom’s other siblings rarely called or visited him even though they knew what was to come. I spoke with Lonnie and his wife about this and they told me that the other siblings never even said goodbye when they left the last time they saw him. Soon after this conversation with Lonnie and his wife, Lonnie became so sick that he couldn’t do anything, and those who never said goodbye were regretting everything that they had missed and not said to their beloved brother.

Then, the day came that everyone knew he was going to slip away to a better place. A few minutes before his passing, Lonnie’s youngest daughter called and told mom the situation, and before they hung the phone up, my mother, father, and I all told Lonnie that we would miss him and that we all loved him. From that day forward, I have always told anyone important to me goodbye and that I love him or her before I leave them. I will always do this because I don’t want to regret not saying goodbye or letting someone slip away without them knowing that I loved them. This belief can help you live a life with less regrets if a family member passes away.