The right question to ask is, "what type of goodbye would you like?"


Have you ever noticed how many people, places, and things you've said goodbye to in your life? If it's through a hug, a plane, or a toss in the trash? I believe that there is always a little pain in saying goodbye, even though the sadness is occasionally accompanied with relief and/or enthusiasm. Just because we no longer like something or it no longer serves us does not mean we should forget that it was once the only thing we ever wanted. However, our own ego may occasionally get in the way. We may leave a thousand things unspoken and a thousand acts unfinished.





Goodbye is not the same as holding on to something or resisting change. It's about saying goodbye with thankfulness, compassion, and grace. But, as we all know, not all farewells do. There are a myriad of factors that prohibit us from saying our final goodbye. Sometimes things simply end, or people leave or do not show up, and places close and things burn down.


It's fascinating how, when we watch movies or read novels, we're generally forgiving and patient with sluggish or even awful starts, but if the ending is awful, the entire movie sucks. Even if the remainder of the movie was fantastic, we can feel it was a waste of time because a terrible ending spoils the entire experience and the memory we have of it. It's human nature to want the stories to finish well. Yet, when it comes to the most important narrative of all, the one of our lives, it appears that we are unaware of how essential a good ending may be.


There is a psychological phenomena known as the peak-end rule, which was developed by Daniel Kahneman. I highly urge you to read his book, "Thinking Fast and Slow," which is one of the best books I've ever read. In essence, the peak-end rule is about how we develop memories from our experiences and how we recall our experiences through the highs and lows that we feel at the most powerful peaks, as well as the end point. So it appears that our recollections aren't an average of the event as a whole, but rather that the ending of "how we part" has the most strong influence on how an event will be remembered. So perhaps we should reconsider our goodbyes.


Now, saying good-by does not always imply that it is the final time. Technically, it isn't necessarily the last time; I could always return to the place where I grew up, visit my favourite garden, or see my favourite person, but it is the last time of the way things are right then and there. I don't believe that everyone needs or cares about polite goodbyes, whatsoever you define them. We are all unique, and some individuals choose to avoid it at all costs. Perhaps they hope or even anticipate that the things or people from whom they wish to detach will just fade into the background or disappear.




When we desire something or someone, we are so adept at being modest, expressing respect, and admiration. We go the extra mile, we are patient, and we are kind. But when it’s time to move on, we don't always express the same level of care. But how do we say our final goodbyes? What exactly does it mean? I believe that when we part, whether it's with a friend, a relationship, a move, or a new job, we should ask people more frequently, "what type of goodbye would you like?" We should also ask ourselves the same question. Ego and all other filters aside, how do I want to leave this scenario or this person? Is there anything more I should say? Is there anything I need to do?

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