Tuesday, September 11, 2012

154 Monday Musings: Good-byes

154 Monday Musings: Good-byes

Good-byes can mean so many things. Good-byes often come along with some kind of discontinuity, a departure from the usual, a shift from how things are or have been. Good-byes mean separation, distancing, moving away, sometimes permanently. Humankind generally does not like good-byes. All of us are comfortable with certain kind of departures and discontinuities and uncomfortable with other kinds of good-byes. Often the enormity of good-bye is determined by the number of discontinuities it will cause and the number of relationships it will distance us from and what do those relationships mean to us. Adults find good-byes more traumatic because with increasing age they have less and less left to offer to new ones, so a good-bye for them is like an investment gone bad. Their own emotional poverty scares them when its time to say good-bye.  

How does one deal with good-byes? Each one of us has built a certain threshold to good-byes called the good-bye tolerance and a good-bye response mechanism over the lives we have lived. Good-bye tolerance indicates how much of the strain caused by the good-bye are you able to take in your stride. Do good-byes disturb you generally? Does the prospect of going away, separation, and realizing that the presence of people around you, that you had got so used to, almost to the point of believing it to be a permanent presence, causes something to churn inside you - or are you comfortable with the thought. Do you lose sleep and are generally irritated by that thought in an otherwise perfect life? The amiss is inexplicable, the void is undescribable, the vacuum is like a footsore, not fatal but reminding you of an imperfection at every step - the only difference that its an heartsore and not a footsore!!

The good-bye response mechanism is the methods we chose or have practiced to perfection to deal with those changes that come along with good-byes. Some immerse themselves in other pursuits with a vengeance to take their mind away from the turmoil unleashed by the good-bye. Others shut themselves out - withdraw into themselves and try to make themselves 'vulnerability proof'. Some will deny, others will resign. Some will curse, others will squeal. Some will be quiet others will be vocal. Some will express others will hold.  

I have wondered what goes on in the mind and heart of the person undergoing a good-bye. Does he feel the heaviness in his solar plexus, the dryness in his throat, the dullness of his senses, the bottomlessness in his mind, the numbness in his thoughts, the abyss in his heart? Do adults feel the same as adolescents even if they retain the bravado and the aura of self control? Does the calm, the certainty around the eventuality make the feeling of unease any less significant? Finally do you express or do you still remain in control. Adulthood is such a strange business.

I stand at the cusp - the point where one journey ends and the next one begins. There is the burden of a good-bye at this moment that i have to bear. There is a burden of attachment, likings, fondness, respect, awe - and may be a strange concoction of all of the above, which some call love. As i bid good-bye to so many, i want to say to them " I leave behind a part of me with you - hold it with you and i take with me a part of you that i will hold dear". I have said good-byes too many times in life and i tell myself they don't matter and they don't bother me much. I guess i try too hard to tell myself that and betray my  feelings.

Good Bye.

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