Did you ever think how your goodbye is going to be. You can dream up scenarios, take inspiration from movies and TV, but reality has a way of being so different. You never will know who will truly miss you, how you will be missed, who will talk about you fondly and who will go on like you were never in their lives. When the time comes we can only hope that we did connect with a few and changed people’s lives for the better.
When I start to think about it, there are two analogies that come to mind.
In sports you often hear that the athlete wants to leave on his/her own terms. Although this is not possible in every situation, we often make fun of those who stayed too long. We also lament many who left too soon. But when the choice is not theirs we refer to it as a tragedy. The sudden loss of an athlete from the sport they excel leaves us feel empty wondering why could have been, and what they could have accomplished. Some we wish never stopped playing and celebrate their careers. Often what is left is only memories and if we are lucky some videos.
In music you often hear the same thing. We often wonder what could have been for those who left sooner than we wanted. We wish they could have made more music. We were lucky to get to hear the sound of their voice or their virtuoso on an instrument. For those who remain too long we hope when we see them, we hope they can recapture glory of the old days and bring back the feeling their music brought us in our youth. And when they are gone we often make fun of them for well being there “too long” and no knowing when to leave.
But these are examples of outsiders in our world. When the person is in our world that goodbye is not followed by headlines of news, global reaction and famous tweets. Maybe on social media there are few comments from friends and family. But for most it is just shock, disbelief and reflection. If you are lucky you are surrounded by loves ones old and new consoling your loss. We don’t talk about if they stayed too long nor about what they didn’t accomplish. But still is someone that isn’t you.
But when it is time for your own goodbye will you be at peace, will you watch your life flash before your eyes and will you have accomplished the things you wanted to do. Did you say yes to something that scares you, did you take that job that was a stretch, did you help that stranger you did not know, did you forgive someone who did something unforgivable, did you apologize for the things you did wrong, did you thank the people who helped you along the way, told the people close to you how much you mean to them, did you raise your kids to be good people first, and did you find your sole mate.
I don’t know why I think about these things on the anniversary of my wife’s passing, these should be things I think of every day and follow. I know I am posting this a day early as I have no idea what I will be thinking over the next few days, and not wanting to ruin mothers day for those close to me. Every day I just try to be a better person and move forward. I hope that the legacy I pass down to my kids is one that the also pass along. Unlike an athlete or musician, I hope I can stay too long to see as much as I can and no one says what could have been. I hope I do most of what I listed above and when my life passes before my eyes I see all of my friends and family there.
It is now 4 years and for me I believe I have done the best that I can. I still talk fondly of the great memories and have people close to me sharing that part of my life. I wrote last year that I hope this year we will be talking about getting together, going out and this would all be behind us. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I can wait to celebrate, be around friends, family and loved ones. I apologize for this being so long, but appreciate those who read it all. This is just one of the many things I have written over the past few years, and mostly during the pandemic I have written a lot, and it has been therapy and well as a passion.
Thanks for being there…
This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free. I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them
This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.