Finding Peace In Our Goodbyes

Last night, as I enjoyed a quiet evening at home, my thoughts wandered to a poignant conversation I had earlier with a woman who was still grappling with resentment towards her deceased mother. Over a decade had passed since her mother’s death, yet the pain, anger and resentment seemed fresh, rooted in the feeling that her mother had selfishly concealed the severity of her illness, depriving the family of a chance to properly say goodbye.

Intrigued and moved, I asked her to share more about her feelings. As she recounted her mother’s final days – spent in the hospital alone, without a farewell – I felt a deep emotional stir within me. It prompted me to reflect on my own near-death experience a year ago, a moment when I was starkly reminded of the solitary nature of our final journey.

I shared with her that during an unexpected turn of events in hospital, as I teetered on the brink of death, my focus was inward. The overwhelming reality of facing my mortality consumed all my thoughts, leaving little room to prioritise the needs of those I was leaving behind. In that transcendent moment, my soul briefly departed, allowing me to visit loved ones in a different realm, a profound experience that gave me a fleeting chance for unspoken goodbyes.

I explained to her that sometimes, our loved ones might not give us the closure we yearn for – not out of meanness or lack of consideration but because they are caught in a deeply personal experience with their imminent departure. The act of saying goodbye, while heartbreakingly painful, is often more about attending to the needs of survivors than the one who is passing. In my case, while I was able to alert my son to come to the hospital, I spared myself and the rest of my family the immediate pain of a hurried farewell, thinking it might lessen their suffering.

Quite frankly, those final moments were all about me and my journey towards the light. I was scared, my heart was breaking and my priority was about creating a sense of calm acceptance and peace. I could not consider baring the pain of saying goodbye to all those I love on top of what I was already coming to terms with. And I knew my pain would be felt by them, and I didn’t want that either.

As I recounted my story, I could see the shift in her perspective. The realisation that her mother might have been protecting her from the unbearable pain of a final goodbye touched her deeply. This new perspective allowed her to view her mother’s actions through a lens of compassion rather than resentment.

Her heartfelt thanks affirmed the power of sharing our stories – how they can bridge gaps in understanding and foster healing and forgiveness. This exchange reminded us both that sometimes, the most profound acts of love are the ones left unspoken.

If this story resonates with you, or if it brings you any comfort, please share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you know someone who might benefit from this perspective, consider sharing this post with them. Let’s spread understanding and compassion, helping others navigate their paths to emotional peace.

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With love,







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