Coping with a Sad Goodbye

thinking of you

Sooner or later, we all part ways...
and we have to face a sad goodbye. If not higher education, then marriage or babies, travelling or working overseas, joining the navy etc.

You already miss them terribly, before they’ve even left!

free farewell scrapbook template!

Maybe you are the one leaving, and you face a yawning emptiness in front of you - anyone who has retired, or ending professional work (for a break, or to start a family, etc) may feel the great unknown and the impending ego-crisis quite frightening.  You may have identified yourself so much with work (or other societal role) that even the joys that await you are scary because you don't know how you might cope with a change. 

A big part of any sad goodbye is that everybody involved must cope with Change.

You may feel depressed and despairing at the looming loneliness or the end of a part of your life.
Depression is actually a way of accepting reality, so then you can move forward.

All change needs the perspective that 

  • everything is temporary anyway, it is just life
  • the hardest changes are the ones where we are overly attached to someone or something (e.g. a role) - over-attachment causes suffering and restricts growth and freedom
  • there is more wisdom to learn and joys ahead - they just look different to what you have been used to.  Try to find the silver lining in things now.

Sometimes a change in role means a change in how you see yourself.  The people in your now "old life" may have been part of that role, and so they might not belong in your "new" life.  This is okay because you need to continue your growth as a human, and not be restricted by old dynamics that those people bring.
Even though you will keep in touch, the intensity of friendship may not be sustainable: being far away, different lives and everyone experiencing new things.

Just remember that you were witnesses to a part of each other's lives and so you will be special, in some way, to each other.


Special Goodbye ideas

Have some closure… mark this new chapter in your lives that you are all going through, by having an event that is personal and intimate.

Even if it's just a last goodbye to the childhood home

Are you saying goodbye to a child? These farewell stories will help the young one to find value in their own journey. 

Otherwise, a memory filled "Be-loved Pillow" brings the gift of emotional treasures to a child.

Ideas to Move On

Click for ideas to do new things to help you move on from a sad goodbye, and develop relationships with other people -  some people start doing volunteer work once their children leave home, as they needed to be busy with people around them to cope with the loneliness. 

New friendships take time so start building them now - but don't neglect that person leaving.

It’s good to challenge yourself to find more friends because in any good relationship, you can find yourself getting lazy with meeting new people, because you don’t ‘need’ them.  In fact, the space people leave behind when they go means an opportunity to connect with someone who can bring more and better experiences into your life - so get out there and choose who you want to invite in!

Everyone enriches their own lives with more experiences (both the people leaving and those staying behind), and these can still be shared. Make sure you keep in touch, so you won't be missing out.

Want to indulge in a good cry,

wallow in tears?  

Explore our goodbye songs.

Send positive energy for the journey

If you find that you are still almost grief-stricken with loss, or that you think about the farewelled person 'too much', then send that person some positive energy. 

If you're going to think about that person constantly, you might as well do something constructive with it!

  Show them their worth with a tribute.


And finally, a word for those who are actually Not looking for an end to what can only be called grief.  Yes, you are grieving.  That's okay.  You might feel shattered.  This is the truth of your experience.  You may feel that you could never feel joy again.  While this is what it looks like now, in time you will find you can cope with both the grief and living in life at the same time.  So most of the ideas earlier in this page are completely unappealing right now - that is fine.  

If you are not ready to move on, that is okay too.  I only suggest you find someone or a group that deals with a similar loss to you, as everybody's grief is different for each different type of loss, and these people will support your grieving, and help you with your relationship in grief with the person who left.

I also suggest that you focus on self-care: eating well, resting, acknowledging your feelings and energy levels, releasing the tears when they need to come.  If nothing can bring that person back, then self-love will at least return you back to yourself.  Be gentle to yourself.  Be kind to yourself.  A great resource for learning to do that is, which can help you on the path to emotional wellness instead of you turning to an addiction to numb pain.  Remember that you are a loveable person deserving of all good things in life - someone leaving you is not a reflection of your lovableness, it is just an event in life that has many complex facets and none of those facets has anything to do with your lovableness, which is irrefutable.  You will find a connection again, but until then, take one step at a time, and focus on loving you.

One reason we do not want to move on from grief, is that in grief we feel so much the depth of love we are capable of.  It is terrible and beautiful at the same time.  It is like a deep well that we try to find the bottom, only to find there is no bottom, in this deep well of love.  And in the grief we feel that this is the only place to find that love which connects us to the person who left.  It is a wonderful and heart-breaking part of being human, and when you have seen this about yourself, you see everyone differently.  

With grief, the only way is through.  I wish you compassionate blessings for the experience you are having, I am sorry for your loss, and hope this site has helped you today.

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