I’ve been thinking about the word goodbye. It’s rather melodramatic don’t you think? Most of the time when we say goodbye on the phone, in person, whenever, what really mean is see you later, see you tomorrow, see you soon. We are going to see or talk to that person again at some point and we know it.
The thing about goodbyes, the real ones where you aren’t going to see or talk to that person again, is that most of the time you don’t know you need to say them. Most of the time you don’t know that person you’re drifting away from that this parting is going to be the last time you see them, talk to them. You don’t know that person you say ‘hey grab some milk on the way home’ won’t ever make it home. Hospice is the closest thing we have to calling it on goodbyes, on saying goodbye in its original intent, and we can agree it’s an awful gut wrenching reality.
Goodbyes said otherwise are often just drama. Don’t get me wrong I like drama but maybe we need a better word for every day use. Goodbyes, the melodramatic farewells of uncertainty, are best kept to music, movies and books. My favorite Spanish goodbye is hasta luego. Its literal translation is ‘until then’ Until then, until we meet again.
And it is implied in those two poetic words that you will.