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Goodbye Poem

Goodbye Poem

If you’re at all like me, it’s hard to say goodbye.

It’s hard to say goodbye to someone who’s leaving this world.

It’s hard to say goodbye to who you used to be, to how life used to be.

We have a funny way of holding on to things for far too long.

This year especially, I need to say thank you for reminding me that it's OK to wrestle with goodbyes, and that it's equally OK to embrace life as it is.

Reading your emails, and listening to how brave you’ve had to be has made me a braver person. I am grateful to have a community that shows me how to be vulnerable and real.

You’ve given my grief more meaning: branches to reach further than I could have alone. You teach me to want to be human instead of needing to be perfect. You teach me truth, whether it’s beautiful or not.

Letting go isn’t always a beautiful thing, though it can be. Mostly, it’s a necessary thing.

Whether you’re saying goodbye to a person, a whole year (i.e. 2020) or something from your past you don’t need anymore, I hope this poem lets you know that it’s OK to be right where you are.

It's OK if you're human instead of perfect.

If you can’t let something go, this goodbye poem is about letting things be, instead.

I hope these words give you a moment  where everything is alright.

Life is made of moments. You're allowed some time to honor what's been and embrace life even as it is, but you have to allow it for yourself.

Let yourself be a process, too.

It’s hard to say goodbye: to someone you love, to who you used to be, to how life used to be. Whether you’re saying goodbye to a person, a whole year (2020) or something from the past you don’t need anymore, I hope this poem lets you know that it’s OK to be right where you are. It's OK to be human instead of perfect.

Goodbye Poem

There is part of me you take with you

when you go,

part of me you carry now

for me to say goodbye to.


I will take what life has given me and throw away

not a minute.

Everything I’ve ever loved,

I will keep it all inside.

My heart, bear witness to all the goodness in my life.

What has shattered me, let it move me.

I will learn how to rise.

I will keep an open mind.

I will not stop trying.


Let old ways find their place.

New wisdom is

rising from that pain.

There is beauty here too, in how a heart

keeps on beating:

in time,

by grace.


In all of this, I reside.

I've found a truth lives on inside of me —

a river unfolding, a constant bend,

yet a river always of itself.

I have a duty to bear witness to the places I’ve been.

I am here to lay claim to the waters and the earth

and the skies that made me.

I will learn how to come alive.

I will not stop trying.

. . .

Tell me:

What are you grateful or proud to carry with you (a lesson, a strength, a memory) as you move into another year?

Tell me in the comments. Together, we carry on.

All my love,


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Comments on this post (5)

  • Apr 17, 2021

    John, Jacqueline, Jim, Jeroline – you are tremendous and I thank you deeply for sharing. In survivorship and love. x

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Apr 11, 2021

    Letting go of someone you love is hard, especially without goodbyes and was just left with unsaid words. it’s been days, weeks where I been having peace with everything that went down. it was 2 years of blaming myself of what if I did this or did that maybe it would’ve changed something.

    now after 2 years, no more of blaming myself.

    reading this made me fully close the chapter, with this..

    I found closure.

    — Jeroline

  • Jan 03, 2021

    Thank you for these beautiful words and your beautiful poem. You capture in words what I cannot express. I am grateful that you are a friend to me, a gift to me. I am glad to carry that with me as we move into another year. Thank you,

    — Jim OHara

  • Jan 01, 2021

    I will carry how I am a survivor! At my age 76 I have been diagnosed with hypomanic first time in my life. My neurologist said today it is trauma induced!

    — Jacqueline Pontius

  • Jan 01, 2021

    I recently got let go by my friend of seven years. It happened in the beginning of December this poem is so me. God is my best friend now thanks for writing this. I will heal in time in God’s time. Thanks John C. Cousins

    — John C Cousins

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