I won't say that each parting, each goodbye, is a death, because this sounds unnecessarily melodramatic. After all, the parties who are taking leave do go on living (most of the time, at any rate). Still, such goodbyes are a harbinger of the final goodbye, where there is no return, no reunion. So, how mindful are we of death in the wings as we are hugging, shaking hands, kissing one another on the cheek?
I don't want to be weeping uncontrollably as I say, "See you... til next time." I think it would be alarming to my friend or family member. I do cry, however, and unavoidably, when my family from New York leave for the airport. This has happened so many times that I think they have come to expect me to get choked up and tearful. It is all right; I don't mind being embarrassed over loving and missing my dear family. Nor will I regret all the sorrow if I discover, after death, that we are reunited, for all eternity. I am happy that loved ones know they are loved; nothing is more satisfying to me than this.
Death and love are entwined with one another. And that, it seems to me, is as it should be. Death spotlights what is dearest to us and so illuminates the path through life.
just enough for
our goodnight hug