I started looking back at how many good byes I've had to say over these past 8 years. Some were just see ya laters that never were seen again. Some were just ambivalent good byes as we drifted apart. Some were tearful good byes as they left to move away. But the worst good byes are the ones where you know you will never see them again. The times you have to say good bye to someone who's dying.
I have had to say good bye to many friends since I became disabled. Most of them were either; the see ya laters or the drifting aparts. Those were hard because I never knew if I had done something to ruin our friendship, or was it just that my disability made them uncomfortable. I had 1 friend who just stopped coming over, stopped calling, she would respond to my texts until I mentioned getting together. Then dead silence. I still wish to know what it was that I did that drove her away. There was one family who lived behind us and we loved them as if they were a part of our family. We had a gate and path between our 2 houses. But, the job situation drove them out of the area. That was my first hard good bye. When my sister moved was my second. She was/is my best friend and the not seeing her every day is very hard.
My first exposure to real loss was my grandmother. She was an amazing woman of such strength and integrity. She was a woman stuck in a loveless marriage with a man who treated her like a slave but she had such an amazing heart regardless. Because of my grandfather's unpleasant demeanor I was never able to spend much time with my grandmother growing up. But, when she got cancer, I got RSD. We had a chance to really bond and connect. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. The loss when she died was amazing. I had a hole in my heart so big. I could only think what will it be like when my parents go? What is it like for them?
Well, now my mother has lost her father today. After a long battle with Alzheimer's he passed away tonight. He and I never had much of a relationship seeing as how we have always lived a long ways away from each other. But, once again I'm reminded of the fragility of life. And of how quickly a see ya later can become a permanent good bye. I give much sympathy to all those who have had to say good bye to someone they loved.