Five Ways to Make It Easier To Say Goodbye To Someone You Love
The final goodbye, that is. Losing people we love is difficult. Losing them to death is the hardest loss of all. But, if you love, you’ll have loss and that loss may be to death. So, now’s as good a time as any to think about the beauty of saying goodbye.
Because the truth is, it can be beautiful. The moment can be sad and poignant and lovely.
Losing a loved one to death from an illness is a process. It will leave a scar at its end but going through the process propels you forward. It helps you grieve. Part of that process will be saying goodbye. Saying goodbye is easier if you focus on the person you love. Focus on saying what you think that person will need to hear to receive peace. It’s not the time to look inward to find the words to make yourself feel better. It’s important to say the things you won’t look back to regret. Take time to rehearse what you will say. Look into your heart for the right words. If you take the time to do that, those words will come to you. These tips can help you craft the message that will do both of you the most good.
- Don’t wait. You need not hold off until the moment of death. You may not know exactly when that will be. I said my essential goodbye to my dying father just after his terminal diagnosis. He lived 6 weeks more but that just gave us time to enjoy the peace we shared.
- Don’t keep insisting the dying person will get well. You may think that’s comforting but would it be to you if you knew you were dying and everyone around you kept telling you that wasn’t the case?
- Show up. If you’re there, that speaks volumes. If you’re there holding hands or offering a massage, that’s even better. If you’re doing all that and saying lovely things, that’s best of all.
- You can smile, you can joke. Humor is really okay. Your loved one may get some peace from knowing you’re still you, if humor is part of your usual personality. Same goes for crying. It’s okay. Emotion from the heart shows you care. When my friend’s mother died, the whole family put their hands together and cheered, “Yay, Selma!” because that is what they always did on special days.
- Honesty isn’t always the best policy. If you have a family rift and on your mother’s death bed she asks if you will try to resolve it after she’s gone, it’s not necessary to say, “Hell no.” Let her go with hope. Say things that promote peace.
I said goodbye to my mother when I was 24, goodbye to my father at 39. I learned a great deal in between those losses. Suffice it to say, if I could I’d go back to my mother’s death and say a true and loving goodbye. Learn from me so you won’t have the same regret.