• Jenna Mac

Saying Goodbye

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

I have a very difficult time saying goodbye. This may have come from my parents divorce, childhood friends moving away, relatives and friends dying. And sometimes I feel these endings we go through in life weren't properly processed or acknowledged. I feel things pretty deeply. I also know I have difficulty with my need to control...everything, regardless of whether or not that's realistic. I feel as though a lot of people are going through a variety of things at various stages, which may affect their ability to react "appropriately" to emotional circumstances. And because we in our society have created stigmas around talking in-depth about things that are uncomfortable, such as death, drug addiction, mental health, etc., we may be told to forget about our feelings, to push them aside and focus on something else, when really, we need to process them in a healthy way: by actually letting ourselves feel things that feel uncomfortable. Human emotion can be so complex and feel unique to a person, but we as humans all share the same need to connect, to suffer, to love, to experience loss. And if we as a whole became more comfortable in the uncomfortable, we would be better able to support ourselves and others. I think in our current climate, with Covid19, many people are experiencing an increase in anxiety and depression; not knowing what to expect, missing our loved ones, and dealing with things like income loss and loss of social structures.

Back to my original thought, saying goodbye. When my parents got divorced, that was an ending I found difficult. The changing of patterns of comfort. Living in one home with both of my parents, and then having to say goodbye to my mom throughout the week when I visited my dad, and saying goodbye to my dad when it was time to go back to moms. I've also had many long distance relationships, and saying goodbye to boyfriends I loved felt heart wrenching to me at the time. And then, the worst goodbye of all, saying goodbye to my dad forever when he died. I have learned so many things from his death, namely that in a way, the small things we stress over we shouldn't give so much weight to. When he was in a hospice waiting to die, it all happened so quickly that he was still attempting to tie up loose ends, such as his financial affairs. And then, this look kinda washed over his face when I told him "dad, don't worry about these things, we'll take care of all of this you no longer have to worry", it was a look of relief, and then of sadness. Like, oh ya, I no longer have to burden myself with my bill payments but also, oh ya, I don't have anything to think about anymore other than dying. All the things you worried or considered day to day, literally do not mean anything to you in any way at all when you're dying. The things we felt collectively pieced together to make our existence all make sense and function as we humans do, by organizing our day, working, paying bills, cleaning our houses, it all just seems almost like it didn't even matter.

And then of course with all of those thoughts go my deeper thoughts of what is my purpose. What am I doing here. What meaning does my life have. I was asked the other day what kind of legacy I'd hope to leave. I gave a book to my dad prior to his death called "all about my dad". It was filled with questions and blank spaces for him to fill in. I didn't read the book until he died. On the final few pages, there was that question, what do you hope your legacy will be? When I was asked the same question I burst into tears. Reminded of the feelings I had the first time I read what my dad had written, and a feeling I got for a brief moment that I may well die alone. Relationships have proven difficult for me for years. I can't have children of my own. I never know where I might be living or working . I often feel like it would be impossible for me to find someone I really connect with and see myself feeling safe, loved, wanted, and able to stay with them regardless of where we are both situated (since I typically meet people travelling). And if I die alone, that all just sounds so awful. I will not have raised a child with the values and love that I know I would give that child. The nurturing, the hugs, the focus on figuring out what gives them passion and feeding that passion with them so that they may find their way in life to a career that not only provides financially but gives them back the love and joy they feel for that career. I will potentially not ever find a mate for which I have always felt romantic about finding. Someone loving and giving, someone easy going, and someone that nurtures my passions. Someone that I would feel the same towards them because I'd trust them and want to give them all this love I've had in me since birth that I just can't seem to funnel into someone that wants it and feels the same. I come across as a cold woman sometimes. Someone that doesn't need anyone. And sometimes I don't. I love my space. I love my solitude. I love what I'm able to create when I'm on my own. But I'd love to do all of that, with someone by my side. Someone who wants me to grow. And someone I value in all of those same ways.

In the scariest and most uncertain of times that we are currently all experiencing, I think a lot of us are changing the way we look and feel about things, because we don't know what's next. We maybe feel we could've planned better, made better choices so that we did things we wanted to do before this uncertainty became normal so quickly. And for me, it is the thought that I never want to waste time on anything that isn't giving me value. I want to love deeply. I want to see as much as I can. I want to feel as much as I can. I want to live with spontaneity. I want to appreciate everything I have, and let nothing stop me from moving forward. Because, as we have now all felt, we have limitations on these things. And we are saying goodbye to some things that were comfortable to us.

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