Existential Psychology

Final Goodbye

By  | 

The fact that one day, in the not too distant future, you will have to say goodbye to your loved one for the last time, never to see, talk to, or hold this person again is so utterly overwhelming, so grief inducing, that you probably don’t even believe it’s true in any practical sense. Yes, theoretically you know that people die but it can’t happen to the two of you. The love songs and wedding vows prove the sentiment: Together forever.

But forever is a lot shorter than any of us like to believe, and no amount of repression can change this unalterable fact. The clock is ticking, our existence is finite. But why even think about it, why bring up the idea of the final goodbye?

We come to take our loved ones for granted precisely because we delude ourselves into thinking they are going to be around forever. We feel okay about harping on the small things, we get impatient and easily irritated, we take our anger and frustrations out on the people we love. We grow so accustomed to having them around that their presence stops being a miracle.

Next time negative feelings start to bubble up about your loved one, contemplate that final goodbye, that unavoidable tragedy waiting for you both. Those feelings of negativity will probably quickly transform into feelings of love, and you’ll say to yourself “Some time soon I’ll have to say that final goodbye but not today! Today I get to spend time with the person I love and I’m going to make the most of it.”