Goodbyes are never easy. No matter the circumstances.

Whether it be because the person is going to college, moving away, fighting for our country, or even passing into the afterlife, saying goodbye is the hardest thing that you will ever have to do.

Saying goodbye is bound to happen at some point in your life, and it’s often reoccurring. It feels as if you have just lost touch with someone when you have to do it all over again for someone else. It puts your heart and mind through a never-ending process of pain and recovery, but you need to learn how to live with it.

The only way to make saying goodbye bearable is to look at the positive.

If your loved one is moving away or joining the armed forces, you can stay in contact via facetime, texting, email, phone calls, or letters. It’s not the ideal form of communication, but it makes saying goodbye so much easier.

Saying goodbye to someone who is still living is a piece of cake compared to saying goodbye forever to someone who is completely leaving the world.

My grandpa was in the hospital for over 24 hours before he died more than two and a half years ago, and my family and I knew that the end was coming. In a way, knowing that he was going to leave us made saying goodbye easier. We all got to prepare ourselves, and even be there for the moment that he left us. I was holding his hand when he took his last breaths. At the moment of his final exhale, the sky turned a beautiful array of pinks, purples, and oranges. It was like the heavens opened up for him, which made it only natural to let him go.

However, when Lexi died it was almost unbearable because it was so sudden and unexpected. Nobody had time to prepare themselves, and it was harder to let go. After many months (and eventually two years) of dealing with her death and refusing to say goodbye, I realized that I didn’t have to. I could talk to her whenever I wanted to.

Now, I may not be able to talk to her like I would to anyone that is living, but I found a new way.

My favorite thing to do is to sit at Lexi’s grave and talk until I get sick of hearing my own voice. I tell her new things going on in my life and things that I think she would find funny. When I’m at her grave, I feel like she’s there listening (and laughing). It’s the one place that makes me feel connected to her.

See, you don’t actually have to say goodbye to people, because they’re always with you. If they pass away, they’re watching you from above, and you just have to find that place that makes you feel like you’re close to them. If they’re moving away, you can still communicate with them. You just have to put in the effort. Like people say, “It’s not goodbye. It’s see you later.” It may be physically seeing them later, or emotionally feeling them with you.

Goodbyes are not permanent, ever.

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