Saying good-bye

Today’s Toronto Star featured an article about a woman who wrote an obituary for a failed relationship, which led to her starting an “online mausoleum” called relationshipobit.com.

This reminded me of another woman I know who has a writing group at McMaster University, who wrote a good-bye letter to her journal when she started a blog. (What a great idea, Malissa!)

This got me thinking—what do I need to say good-bye to?

Here’s my little list of things deserving a good-bye letter:

  • The book on my “to-read” shelf that I started two years ago but never finished. Yes, I’m talking about you, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke. It’s been so long that I’d have to start reading you all over again, and that just makes me depressed.
  • The article or short story that I’m submitting to a journal. I want to wish each one of you good luck and godspeed. Please do better than those who went before you.
  • Those jeans from university. Let’s face it, I’ll never fit in to you again, so why should I torture myself by keeping you in my closet?
  • And that box of letters from an old boyfriend that I keep tucked away in a safe place in my closet. You meant a lot to me once, but you’re exactly the kind of rubbish I wouldn’t want anyone finding after I die.

A letter is a wonderful way for a writer to explore sincere feelings about the people, places and things that have influenced us.

What would you say good-bye to in a letter?

Maria

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