The Problem With Goodbyes

The Problem With Goodbyes

I have never thought too much about goodbyes, maybe I haven’t said a great deal of them in my time, maybe I was just not bothered and was all stoney faced about them. Who knows. Maybe it is because I am now a mother and my icy heart is melting around the ages. Ok that is a lie. It’s turned to complete mush.

Saying goodbye, these days, bothers me. I don’t like it.

I know I am not alone, no body really likes them. Unless it is goodbye sleepless nights, or goodbye cold rainy weather, hello sunshine. Those goodbyes I can get on board with. When my nan’s daughter left the country with her husband and three children to start a new life in Australia my nan literally did not say goodbye to her.

It was a big goodbye to have to say, it was a game changer for all. They would go from seeing each other almost daily to yearly. From helping to raise her grandchildren to distant telephone conversations. This was over 10 years ago before FaceTime – even if it was now I doubt Nanny Pat would have got mastered the video call. I digress. When the house was empty, boxes on containers around the world and all that was left was for a family of 5 to bid their Nan goodbye and get into the taxi she was gone. She literally walked away without a word.

You see the problem with goodbyes is they’re just too painful.

You might see it as harsh or criticise her decision to not bid her oh so beloved family farewell on such an exciting adventure. I would understand it but I also understand why she didn’t. Or more accurately couldn’t.

Like I said, goodbyes can be just too painful.

They can hold the unknown.

They can be fully loaded and you could be saying goodbye to so much.

It may be that you are just saying goodbye, for now. Until the next time. This is me, every 6 weeks or so. Every 6 weeks or so I say goodbye to Nanny Pat after her 4 day stay with us Tammys’. Goodbye until next time. I have just said goodbye to her, but it is only for 4 days when I will see her again.

Yet I dread the goodbye. Each and every time she goes. I loathe it. I know it is not forever yet I can’t help but hate it. It is almost enough to make you wonder whether the time spent with is worth the goodbye to welcome the time without. Of course I know it is but that fleeting knot in your stomach of a goodbye hurts.

Nanny Pat’s departure isn’t just the departure of company and a helping hand with two toddlers. It feels like the departure of a little piece of me. A piece of my family and my history in a world where I have had to carve out my own. One that is comparatively in it’s infancy. She is going back to my people and my world and I am left behind. It is sad. Sad until I look down at the two little hands holding mine as her train pulls away from the station. You see as sad as it is, I choose it this way and I wouldn’t change it. I wouldn’t want to be in my old life without the people that make my life what it is now. I have my own family and I am grateful to call them mine.

I really wouldn’t change any of it. It is ok to be sad when saying goodbye it means I have something special to miss and something special to look forward to.

It doesn’t however make the problems with goodbye any easier. Goodbye is and will always be a problem, even if it is goodbye for now.

I told you, those babies broke my steely heart.


  1. Laura
    August 1, 2017 / 6:53 pm

    Oh goodbyes are so horrid! I won’t actually say the word often. Instead I say see you later or soon. It is a decision that came about after loss.

    Glad that you only have 4 short days without her though.

  2. August 2, 2017 / 5:23 am

    Goodbyes are hard. I love seeing family and it’s always hard to say goodbye even when it’s for a short time. I tend to say “see you soon” as well. What’s harder now is that the children often find them so hard and we get lots of tears and “how many sleeps until we see X again?” and of course the number of sleeps is too many or unknown. Glad you only have a 4 day wait until seeing Nanny Pat again. #familyfunlinky

  3. August 2, 2017 / 5:54 am

    I agree – goodbyes are the worst! I hate it when I have to say goodbye to my parents, either when they’re visiting me or I’m visiting them – because I know it will be months before I see them again. Living abroad can be so hard sometimes. #FamilyFunLinky

  4. August 2, 2017 / 5:57 am

    Goodbyes are hard, and it’s hard living away from family-even if it is the best option xx

  5. August 2, 2017 / 6:18 am

    It’s so hard,Irving away from loved ones. My inlaws live across the sea so it is so tricky now that they are getting older. Lovely post. #familyfun

  6. August 2, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    Goodbyes are hard and my Mother proved it every time I used to go back to hostel after summer break. I am glad I am settled in my Hometown. Power to you. #familyfunlinky

  7. August 2, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    I hate saying goodbye to my mum, she lives in Bewdley, which is about a 2.5hr drive from us. We probably see each other every few months. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

    Weirdly, the little visits don’t bother me. They might pop up for 1 night, or just come to get the kids and only be here for an hour. Those, I wave goodbye happily. It’s when we have a week or so together. #familyfunlinky

  8. August 2, 2017 / 2:15 pm

    Urgh goodbyes are awful aren’t they? I have family in the Isle of Man and its always hard to say bye to them. The worst though is saying bye to my auntie. Not because she lives far away – its only about 15 minutes drive away. But because she has dementia and lives in a care home. You say goodbye when she knows who you are. Next time she may have forgotten 😔. Lovely post. #familyfun

  9. August 2, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    Oh sarah. I always thought I was sentimental, this makes me feel like a fraud. I don’t think I’ve had that goodbye tug before. Maybe with Dave and probably with Robert one day but maybe I’m a little cold lol!! Ff

  10. August 2, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    I love it when you mention ‘Nanny Pat’ on IG – she seems like a real character and someone you can seriously count on. But this is a brilliant post not just for the warmth in which you write about her, it also brings up the poignancy of goodbyes. You are never sentimental in your writing but your posts like this are really emotional and authentic – just lovely xx #familyfunlinky

  11. August 2, 2017 / 10:55 pm

    I’m a big softie now also. One of my best friends is off to Europe for the next three years for a military posting. It was tough #familyfun

  12. August 3, 2017 / 7:14 am

    Well as an EXPAT I get this totally. Goodbyes are hard but sometimes life leads us on a different path. Thank you for hosting #FamilyFun

  13. August 3, 2017 / 9:37 am

    Such a heartfelt post – I have family abroad and goodbye is always hard #familyfun

  14. August 3, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    Awwww. Kinda related- my middle’s best friend moved down south and when we get together a few times a year and then they separate the girls are heartbroken.


  15. August 3, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    This is such a lovely thought provoking post, my boys get so upset when saying goodbye to Grandma even though she some to visit us at the same time every week. They miss her so much. Good byes are never easy even its just a bye for now. @IsntitprettyKTB & @Tammymumuk #FamilyFunLinky

  16. August 4, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    I’ve always hated saying goodbye to people in fear I never see them again. I love that my eldest follows it quickly with the words ‘see you soon’. #familyfun

  17. August 5, 2017 / 3:17 pm

    I make sure Chris wakes me everyday before he leaves for work so we can say goodbye, just in case anything terrible happens (paranoid? YES!) Seeing my aunt before she died and knowing it would be the last goodbye was so so hard. #familyfunlinky

  18. August 8, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    Ok well I’ve always been a soppy one. I remember when I was about 13 I cried saying goodbye to my grandparents who loved 2 hours away. Then when there was just one of them, well, I sobbed. Goodbyes are tough but I think it’s just because people are so loved. #FamilyFun