Goodbye Treasures

Each day that we wake up is a reminder that we are being given another chance. Our second chances ran out long ago. But chances are aplenty. Each day we are the precipice – of what I do not know. It’s different for each of us. Our lives are what we make of them. The good, the bad, the ugly.

There will always be those times in life where we are unsure what our purpose is or if we even have one. We wonder if we will spend the next years of our life wandering with no real discovery to be found. Those treasures we seek often we do not find and when we are lucky enough to find them – it doesn’t mean we will get to keep them. Sometimes those treasures are not ours to keep. For that moment they are in fact ours, but eventually they will be lost to us. Each treasure has it’s rightful place in this world. Whatever it may be. Sometimes we will learn what that place is and sometimes we will be left to wonder.

I have found some remarkable treasures in my life. None I have been able to keep. I don’t know that I full recognized them as treasures in my life until they were gone. Some people, some events, some things. Each day that we awake and recognize the treasures we have the better off we are. It’s easy to remember the ones we no longer have. Majority of society is seeking what they don’t have rather than realizing what they do. And it’s a shame.

I heard a song recently and just like much of the music I listen to it was speaking for me. To me. I never expected it. It talks about having the inability to say goodbye. To whoever. “I don’t know how to say goodbye to you, maybe tomorrow I can start anew, I just don’t know how to say goodbye to you.” I have found over the last year and a half and most recently the last 3 months that those words describe exactly what I have been unable to explain. 

I love someone but they are not mine to love. Maybe at some point in life they were, but they are no longer. The depths of the connection we shared at one time were like none I have ever experienced. We meet people in our lives and just know that our souls have known each other long before our physical bodies met. It’s a connection of the soul. The relationship (friendship or otherwise) is instantaneous. When I first heard the song this person, this relationship was the first thing to come to mind. Out of everything and everyone. My heart has yet to mend itself. There are times that I think I have made peace with it. Days I feel like I have made progress. Although we don’t talk anymore, I find it interesting that every now and again I’ll get a text – nothing of substance (usually) – on days where I question how much more I can take or days where my head just isn’t in a good place. That’s when I realize that treasure does not belong to me. I don’t know that it ever did. But in those moments, those rare occasions, that treasure can calm my soul. At the same time, if I’m not careful, it can cut through the stitches of my heart.

This song also reminded me that I am not as far a long in my grief process as I would like to think I am. It reminded me of my kid brother. It was like a slap in the face. A reminder that putting a smile on your face, allowing others to think you are okay, tricking yourself into believing you are okay and actually being okay are very different. It’s easy to fake those smiles. To go to work and laugh and allow others to believe the facade you put up. Quite frankly, it’s none of their business what my struggles may be. It’s not their concern – so I smile. It’s easy to put up a facade so just about everyone in your life thinks you are okay. It’s a little harder to trick yourself. I think if you do it enough then eventually you believe it. Self-awareness is a wonderful thing and also a curse. After hearing this song I realized the number one thing holding me back in this thing they call grief is not knowing how to really say goodbye. I don’t believe in the afterlife. I don’t believe I will see him or anyone else again.  So, the fact is a goodbye is a goodbye. It’s not a “See you later.” It’s not a “I’ll see you again.” It is a goodbye. I don’t know that I know how to say that just yet. A realization that I am uncomfortable with. I think the failure to say goodbye just means I am not done with my grief. There are still thoughts and feelings that have to be processed. Unfortunately, I am not sure what they are. Without knowing processing cannot begin. It’s not easy to say goodbye. I’ve done it several times before. It’s never easy.

Treasures – they are not always our to keep. Goodbyes are forever. Once you allow yourself to say goodbye you are closing that door. Sure it may creep open from time to time, but you never really open it again. That’s your goodbye. Closing that door and leaving it closed. It cannot happen until you are ready…

Goodbye to You – Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals