This life that we live gives us so many opportunities to practice saying goodbye. Most of the time we have some choice in the matter. And, most of the time we really don't want to, yet we say it anyway because we know it is for the best. But there are times when there was no choice given to us, and we know it can't possibly be for the best. Those are the final goodbyes. Irrevocable. Forever etched onto the tablet of our history as the day that our world stopped spinning for a second until it could regain its balance and begin to move once more. Those are the goodbyes that have us parting not just with another being, but with a piece of our very own souls.
I've found in these moments that the pain of forever can hit you repeatedly and without relent. There will be the briefest moment where you've forgotten the loss only to have it wash over you anew. And you feel it in your belly, your chest tightens and you are sure that there is no possible way that you can carry on under this pressure. You can't imagine fighting against the emptiness and meaninglessness of it all for the rest of your life. Because it feels like that is what you will have to do: battle every day to face the void. And you will. For awhile. And that while will very much feel like forever while you're living it. But gradually, it will ease. The force compressing your heart will weaken until it becomes a ghost of what it once was. Still pressing, still present. But no longer debilitating. And it is in that space that you can say goodbye and mean it.