I don’t want to leave you.
My heart cries.
I can’t leave you.
My heart screams.
But I have to.
My heart grieves.
I love you.
My heart breaks.
Goodbyes, don’t hold closure. In fact, they are the perpetrators to undoing a wound already done up.
Goodbyes, are the ugly before the good.
Goodbyes, remind us that we’re human. And that everything must come to an end.
Unfortunately, or fortunately (however you wish to see it), I, like many others, tend to have this habit. Of falling so miserably in attachment, that I can’t seem to ever quite recover. Of getting used the comfort of the cracks in the walls of a room I’ve grown up in, or the lines on my mother’s palm or the blue of someone’s eye. I live in moments already past and in those dancing in the realm of possibility.
I live for moments and when they are gone and I accept that they will not return; I shed tears in remembrance of, in gratitude of, in love of a time that left me far before I had a chance to catch my breath. And I do this for months: grieving, healing, loving.
I hold onto the ruminants of those moments in my very own two hands, watching them escape like sand does in the spaces between my fingers. And perhaps it all does escape me- the faces, the voices, the comfort of what once was- but nothing can change the fact, that it was once there. That it was mine. And that it is mine, to hold and to love until the world bids me farewell.
And maybe that’s the key to learning how to let go. Knowing that if you get a phone call at 3:30am saying that your grandfather has fallen, that you can tell him that he can let go. That you can tell the same man, that dropped and picked you up from school every single day, that you can tell the same man, whose mind began to fade with his memories, that you can tell the same man- that taught you that exploring is food for the soul, that he can leave to explore another world that’s hopefully far more beautiful and kind to him, than this one was.
That you can tell the boy that you’re still in love with, that you’re okay with being friends.
That you can tell your parents, that you’re ready to leave them and start a new chapter in your life.
That you can tell yourself, that it’s okay to not be perfect.
Maybe the key to letting go, is accepting that forever doesn’t exist and life is about learning to live for those moments of euphoria and grace. Like burning a candle, during a thunderstorm. Or seeing your father’s forehead crease from laughter and not stress. The simple abundance of blessings that go unnoticed in the chaos of fear.
Fear of missing out.
Fear of coming in second best.
Fear of never being “good enough”
Fear of letting go.
But oh how beautiful is it, to love. Because love has no sense of time nor placement. Love is or love is not.
Nakupenda Saira (I love you Saira), I say every night- to that beautiful angel, I met in the slums of Mombasa, hoping she will find her way into my dreams that night. She is the angel who taught me that to love means to sacrifice. That love is unconditional and surpasses all boundaries of what we believe to be truth. That love is bigger than fear. And to love means to let go. But love is also a promise, a promise to never forget. To never forget that feeling, of serenity.
I don’t think there is ever a recovery from a goodbye. I don’t think you can ever go back to being who you were because the love that makes saying goodbye hard, has changed you. And when you have to de-attach from a moment and allow it to become a memory, you’re allowing the love to permanently live within you.
They say everything settles down with time, and yeah perhaps it does. Perhaps years after saying goodbye to my grandfather, I’ll stop grieving and I’ll heal. Or perhaps one night I’ll stop saying, Nakupenda Saira, as my prayer to God to keep her safe but also to keep myself from breaking.
But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop loving them. It means I’ve learned to let go, and appreciate how they now exist within me.
Learning to let go, while continuing to love on, my dear friends- is losing control, while holding on to the only thing that makes us human- love.