A friend just left my house. "I'm not going to say goodbye. That's too sad."
I understood. She began by cleaning my house; we found friendship through the death of loved ones and personal illnesses and children. "How about 'Until we meet again?'"
She could only nod. Her face tightened to ward off the tears.
We each approach farewells differently. I have found that for different friends I react differently. For the school community, I have to say goodbye to each person. Despite logistically difficulties, we host a party this weekend for the kids and parents who have been so instrumental in making school great, wonderful, fulfilling. I'll shed tears. Of those I won't be ashamed.
Last month, I began shedding the responsibility of the house corporation presidency. One of my sisters with whom I struck an unlikely friendship and I simply said goodbye as if we'd see each other again for the proper farewell. Later that evening, we cried quietly on the phone as we realized that we wouldn't see each other again.
"It wasn't a proper goodbye," I lamented to an even closer friend, who is in the category of best friend. "Claire helped me through so much on a personal and professional level."
"Well," she quipped, her large, blue eyes showing the emotion her voice didn't, "You can forget saying a proper goodbye to me. You just leave. Just leave."