…is that they’re not so hard.
Hear me out.
When you’re saying goodbye, the person or persons leaving (or whom you are leaving behind) is still there. And you can make jokes and slap each other’s backs and say the standard “Take care” and “Keep in touch”. It’s almost as if you’re just saying, “…until we see you next week.”
There’s probably an element of denial in that moment and it’s often fairly easy for that moment to remain “unemotional”.
No, the difficulty is not in saying “Goodbye”. The truly hard part is the moment you have to turn your back and walk away from those people for the last time. It is in that moment that your throat clinches and your eyes well up. It is in that moment that you want to turn around and go back and give them just one more hug—and you think, I should have done this or I should have said that and I should have hugged them longer and in a more bear-ish manner.
But you catch yourself, because if you followed that impulse at that moment, you’d feel a bit of a fool, and you would be a blubbering idiot not making a great deal of sense to anyone, because then the feelings are out there and you won’t be able to deny them and pretend that everyone will be together again next week.
This is the third time, in a way, we’ve said goodbye to Randall and Lauralea, who were with us in church this morning, and it is the last one. And walking away the third time was no easier than the first. And there’s always more to be said.