Tag Archives: good-bye

Discovering the “Good” in Goodbye

“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.” Ivy Baker Priest

I’ve never much liked goodbyes. I come by it honestly. Growing up, when it came to saying goodbye, my mom used to say we were born with our kidneys too close to our eyeballs because we found them sad and were easy to cry. The two of us could see total strangers bidding each other adieu at the airport and in an instant; there would be the tears.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise (mostly to me) that I initiated my own goodbye last month. After six years at the same job, I packed up to start a new opportunity. Equally as surprising (again, only to me) was that I managed to get through my departure sans tears.

While I felt sad knowing I wouldn’t see the good friends I’d made day to day, a strange thing started to happen to me in the days leading up to my last day – I started to see some actual “good” in this whole goodbye thing.

I realized goodbyes are:

Good for getting nice notes from your colleagues and other co-workers you didn’t even know cared

Good for reminding you how much stuff you’ve really accomplished over the years in your job

Good for finding a vase of bright spring tulips on your desk

Good for seeing how much better your current hairdo is than the one on your old ID badge

Good for reminding you to take a leap every once in a while

Good for pushing yourself to go for new things

Good for taking stock of and feeling grateful for all you’ve learned and the great relationships you’ve made

Good for blog post ideas, suggested by your fellow RW (Miss Beckie!)

Good for being the recipient of a heartfelt poem written by your talented and thoughtful coworker who also happens to be a RW (thank you Andrea!)

And of course, GOOD for new beginnings.

Wish me luck!





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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?


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