How To Say Goodbye

Goodbyes, even for the better, take some small part of you that you can never get back.

There’s a hole in the head, chunks of chest missing, you are lying on the floor.

Pools of flesh and blood, your memories will swim quietly with soft whispers.

This has been the most true in life for the past few years.

It was over quite some time ago when I had first felt the slow tear of leaving the people you had discovered you had loved dearly. In Toronto Pearson Airport, 2011, I watched the ones who lifted my heart so tenderly fade away into the background, shrinking more and more the farther I moved forward.

In that moment, I experienced an emotion that I have trouble naming. Suddenly, the world I knew didn’t make sense. Suddenly, I was more alone than I had ever felt in my whole life. Tears escaped my eyes, I felt my chest caving in with tremendous grieve of sudden departure. As hard as I tried to prepare myself for the big moment, it never happened quite like I pictured in my head, it all felt too uncomfortable, all too concrete. It’s surreal to think that you know you have to move forward, you can feel the need to jump into the next adventure, but it all still aches inside of you. Every six months, my life changes just as the seasons come and go. I have to let the amazing people fly off into this vast world where so much is happening.

Fast forward a few years later and here I am, still alone, still saying goodbye. And, you would think that after all this time, I would have gotten better at it. But, no, I am without a peace of mind. It still hurts just like it did all those years ago, it still sends a deep well of emotions to course through my very being. I still have a hard time letting go; the last words exchanged, the last hug – and in some cases, that one last kiss before it all falls apart.


I’ve never liked goodbyes, I always push people away near the end of all ends. When the clock has struck twelve and it’s time to go, I try to put distance, thinking foolishly that it’ll make things easier, except that is not the case. No, you see, how could it possibly be, when you are a lonesome traveler and you find a home in a place you never expected with weirdos that laugh and talk just like you? No notice is given that little pieces of your heart are being left in these places and these people. You don’t realize how much you are giving away to someone.

Subtle and minuscule chunks are quietly being chipped away from you, and you never know until you’ve reached a gaping hole in your chest. It happens in moments that you would never would think it could happen. Like, when a genuine smile comes into play in a conversation. Or, that wild laughter that will never stop until you both have stitches. I find these moments when embarrassing stories get brought up, real life experiences, or listening to that one song together that makes the whole world move. I find myself exposed and raw when all shadows of life are being cast aside and given consciousness. It is then that little parts of me ache for another human being, even if I don’t know it at the time. And this is where things get complicated. You start to imagine conversations with certain people in your head, you think of a joke they’ll like, a song you want to show them, or just generally curious about their day.

Life gets dangerous the more you let people into your life, into your carefully guarded walls that surround you so nothing will hurt. I never thought of myself as the sentimentalist, and yet, I still end up wandering off in space, thinking of that one day in a helicopter and on top of the mountains with a crazy bunch that love the wild. I think of mad nights in a hot city, drinking secret beer under the table so the bartender doesn’t see, all to cheers late in the evening with the boys of summer. It all comes back to me: a random Aussie girl with a mouth on her, unashamed to tell the truth. The wind howling harshly and sending needles and pins into our exposed, numbing skin (beer in hand) at -30 degrees, but all so me and a friend could see new born puppies that needed our attention. I still reminisce to watching sunsets with a beautiful girl on the west coast as the waves come crashing like lightening. That one night where me and a good buddy camped out under the stars while smoking some funny things. I miss trippy days at Wreck Beach, sneaking into a hotel to build forts with new friends, and stepping into a room in a hostel and meeting someone that was gonna be my future roommate, or even that side-swiping, haunting first kiss with a stranger that left me aching for more.

The human condition is that we are meant to love and connect with each other. Some have realized this, some have not. But, when you open yourself up to the possibility that there are others like you, that you have your own tribe, the universe will take you to them. In a weird mix of Synchronicity and sweet Serendipity, you find these amazing people that will turn your whole world around.

Sometimes, it’s good.

Sometimes, it’s bad.

Sometimes, the good feels bad.

Every now and then, I’ll tell myself that enough is enough, that I can’t do this anymore. The late nights all alone after everyone is gone, after I leave time and time again, I sit quietly and listen to the silence around me. There’s a part of me that I can feel is missing, something I’ll never get back. I realize that I’ve been altered and who I once was before is gone and left behind, a piece I can never get back. It sits heavily in my heart once I lift my head again, watching the world around me and seeing that nothing is the same as it once was.

There is fear, uncertainty, and I panic. I try to turn back, to try to say more, to convey the words I can’t seem to form. I need you to know how much my heart will miss you, how much my world doesn’t make sense when you are not around. I miss the laughter we’ve shared, the dark nights we spent away from everywhere, talking of all the things we could never say in the light. I want you to remember too, of all the wonderful drunken nights dancing, the sunsets we’ve watched together, the dinners with stuffing our faces. You need to think of me again, think of how it was and what it could be again. I know that the road is long and fearful, and that sometimes, things don’t work out the way we want them to. But, still, I will fight to see you again. So, one day, we can look up at the stars again, for there to be more wild laughter, jumping and dancing and peace and love and vulnerable nights where our souls can sigh and relax and sleep in the shadows.


One day, this goodbye will seem like long ago memory, an old photograph we can’t quite seem to remember. Soon, our adventure will continue.

This is what I need to tell you,

That I’ll miss you,

That this hurts everyday,

But, the mates of soul never give up.




One thought on “How To Say Goodbye

  1. For me it helps, instead of focusing on the missing, to be grateful for the new people I got to meet because of the goodbyes I said to others. But of course, the missing is always there, a price to pay for the wonderful adventures and life lessons we receive! Big hug, Travis!

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