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Saying Good-bye

How does one say good-bye

    when it may be forever?

Does she look into the hearts and the souls

     of those she loves

     then smile at their beauty?

Does she silently wish for happiness for her beloveds

     in an uncertain world

     then smile at the possibility?

Does her body tingle with warmth

     and gladness and love

for having known them?

Does she remember the good times

     spent backpacking, cycling and breaking bread together

     while deep contentment fills her heart?

Then as she watches their car drive out of sight

     hands waving, faces grinning,

     does she break down and cry

     at the magnitude of her loss?

Yes. This is my experience at saying good-bye

     when it may be forever.

For you see, my beloved friends Dave and Lieve came to visit. They live in Switzerland and have taken us on many unforgettable adventures in the Swiss Alps. Many years ago Mike and I bonded to them as quickly as Saran wrap bonds to itself. We have been unable to untangle ourselves since, but we haven’t tried.

They are a little shy so I cannot post a photo of them, but I can give you a glimpse into their hearts and souls:

Their Heart: La Dolce Vita!

Hearts

Their Soul

Souls

So, how do I say good-bye as they make their way back home?

I don’t!

I remember what Dave said to me in September 2012 when we last visited them in Switzerland. I had tears in my eyes at our parting as I knew I might never see them again.

He said, “We don’t say good-bye.”

I gave him a puzzled look.

“We say, ‘See you later.’ ”

The tears changed to smiles then as they changed to smiles this September 2014.

“See you later,” we all called to each other.

Even though all of us knew,

it might be forever.

 
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29 Comments  comments 

29 Responses

  1. My dear Gayle, I have said Good-bye to so many – family, human friends, and countless animal beloveds. I always cry, I don’t like saying good-bye! Plain and simple. There you have it. BUT: so, so many of those critters and people have let me know from wherever they have gone to, that absolutely there is a “forever” but the good kind of forever – in that yes, “See you,later!” also means, “So you think you can get rid of me that easily?!!” Which makes me laugh, and gives me so much to look forward to. I love you, Gayle!

    • gayle

      Hi Rita, Yes, crying is definitely the appropriate response, but so is laughter and love–which you so eloquently described!

  2. Harriett Hamblin

    Gayle – you are an amazing woman! Your words are so profound. Glad to hear you are feeling better.

  3. SUSANA

    PRESENCE

    In a gesture of prayer
    I select a picture,
    not a random gesture
    no, the beauty in the photo
    is arresting!

    “Floating heart and cypress branch”
    is the subtitle… in the Everglades…
    is the place.
    So I remember the old man…
    sitting by the window overlooking the meadow.

    From the previous year calendar
    he selects the picture and cuts.
    He is present to the picture
    he is present to the beauty;
    he becomes the beauty.

    And in so doing he transcends time!
    His love and attention are mine now!
    We are looking at the same picture
    and we allow ourselves
    to be embraced by beauty and love.

    It is the gift of presence!

  4. Oh the sweetness of friendship can fill the heart with overwhelming joy! To experience that is a treasure beyond words. Although, you captured it so well with your beautiful description of those feelings. I’m so glad you have experienced those treasured moments with your dear friends!!! You have been and still are blessed today!

  5. Paula Garber

    You are a great inspiration to all.
    I love your verses on saying goodbye
    Gayle, you speak for so many of us.
    I love you so much!
    Paula

    • gayle

      Dear Paula, we all say our good-byes in our own special ways. Mine is with a hint of laughter and a sense of the temporary! So much in this sweet life to love isn’t there! I love you, too.

  6. Canda Williams

    It sounds like the memories you’ve made with Dave and Lieve will certainly last forever and then some! How wonderful that you were able to reconnect with these special friends. Love the heart and soul photos! Love and hugs to you, beautiful Gayle.

    • gayle

      Hi Canda, Yes, I dearly love my Lieve and Dave. (Okay, I’ll share them if I have to.) I plan on being around long enough to see them again–and you, too!

  7. Karen

    As we part, dare I say
    that I will see you
    another day?
    We wave, we kiss
    Tis’ sorrow be, but
    alas, I feel this not
    for me.
    For love binds hearts
    and souls together,
    it is said that nothing
    lasts forever.
    So onward bound us into
    the day,
    “See you later”, sweet friends,
    be on your way.

    Love to you, Gayle.
    Karen Coffey

  8. Joyce

    Gayle, you provide such thought-provoking, love-filled contemplation. Beautifully put… love, friendships … see you later….

  9. Barbara Simonds

    I treasure the beautiful words that you write.Thank you.

  10. Sandra Harvey

    My sweet friend, you have given me so much this past year through your blog posts, but even tho you are far away and at times frail, you also have given me so much light and energy. When I first saw this post, I took in a breath, and then thought, no, “Not good bye.” as when the expectancy is a large space with no physical face to be again. Then I read each word with deep satisfaction, because I was pretty sure your expectancy is “See you later!” Then a little voice inside said, ” Remind her that ‘Goodbye’ is really a shortened version of “God be with ye! So perhaps when we say goodbye, we are actually sending a blessing with the confidence that we will see that special someone later. From time to time, when I catch someone’s eye, a smile breaks from within and the thought comes, “Oh there you are.” Hmm, do you recognize me? sometimes yes, sometimes, not sure…but a softness happens between us. It is so wonderful that you recognize so many, touch so many, weaving your way through life. Love You.

    • gayle

      Sandra, how beautiful! I love all of these words. My good-byes were to my friends Dave and Lieve. I plan on being around a while. Or at least I’ll leave that in the hands of my maker! Love you, too!

  11. Hi Gayle,
    Always such beautiful thoughts to share. I am so sorry I missed when you stopped by the show :) I would like to see you some time to give you the new book to add to your collection – ha …. let me know if that works for you at all… or I would be glad to mail it!
    Please keep sending us your thoughts… they are so appreciated
    Lynda

    • gayle

      Hi Lynda,
      I would be absolutely honored to have your new book. Your artwork is phenomenal! I would also love it if you joined a few of us some Sunday morning. We are still meeting here at 10 a.m. to do art. You wouldn’t have to teach or facilitate. You only have to have fun!

  12. Kat

    I think your friends said it well. “See ya’ later.” My experience is that no matter who it is
    that has left or where it is that they have gone I carry a piece of them with me…no matter where I go or who I am with. The mere act of having joined our lives leaves me the assurance that we will always be part of one another. Love you my dear friend and always love your writings. <3

    • gayle

      Hi Kat, I love the way you think. You are with me, too, and I must say, you don’t weigh a thing. I’d break out into song, singing “She ain’t heavy, she’s my sister,” but I’ll save you the embarrassment of pretending you like my singing. :-)

  13. Thank you, Gayle. Your beautiful words do so much to stir our hearts and minds and take us to that place where there is nothing more important than LOVE itself! With the precious memories of our loved ones only as far away our hearts, and therefore safely tucked inside us forever, the essence of our connection remains intact no matter what…doesn’t it?
    Sending you love, prayers and blessings!

    • gayle

      Beautifully expressed, Sandi. Yes, I agree, there is nothing more important than LOVE itself! You are so lucky to live that–and spread it to others.

  14. It was forever, but maybe there is no “forever”. Maybe “See you later” opens, and keeps open, the door of endless possibilities.
    RIP Sweetheart

    Your loving Michael

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