Last Goodbye

Jul 15, 2018 by

Last Goodbye

I was recently listening to one of my favorite artists, Kenny Wayne Shepherd. He has one of my favorite blues guitar albums “Live On”. And in listening to that album his song “Last Goodbye” came on. That song moves me so. The guitar is soulful and the lyrics penetrating.

And it got me thinking about loss and about saying goodbye for the last time and why that’s so hard. Whether it’s goodbye to a person, place or thing. I think most of us have a hard time saying goodbye to things that matter to us. Sometimes those goodbyes are truly the last, such as when a person or a pet passes away. Sometimes those goodbyes are the last because we’ve changed, because certain labels no longer are authentic to us, such as when it’s time to leave your job because it no longer provides a soul fulfilling mission, but we’re attached to the label of boss, CEO, founder, President, Manager . . .

Sometimes those goodbyes are truly the last because the circumstances have shifted and new people are on the game board. Basically, because the world has changed and the old game is no longer being played, but we can’t say our last goodbyes to the old game. Think about a divorce and you’ll understand. The game has changed. The players have changed. But we can get stuck wanting to stay playing on the same board.

So, why? Why are saying our last goodbyes so hard? We know they are there. We know they are the last goodbyes. But we don’t want to acknowledge them. Why is that so hard? I think it’s because coming to terms with a last goodbye means coming to terms with a type of death. A type of dissolution. A type of letting go that requires dissolving your connection, attachment, desire/dreams/hopes. It’s a type of disintegrating a part of you, and that’s scary. This concept has been coming up more and more in my world. The concept of things that are scary but need to be worked through anyways. That comes down to courage over comfort. To doing the hard things even when they are tough or painful. And usually, we don’t have a choice. Those decisions have already been made, the loss has already happened, and the last goodbye is simply the final ritual needed to let go.

So here’s my question: “What circumstance, thing, point of view are you currently holding on to that you could say your last goodbye to?” Having to think about a person, place or thing is too painful. So think about the concept. Things like: staying in your career, staying with your current partner, your obligations to your family hierarchy. If you can say your last goodbye to the concept (ie. Goodbye to the fact that I’m the SOLE provider for the family) then maybe you can start to shift who you are and go after what you truly want.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s “Last Goodbye” has the following lyrics:

Long gone
But not forgotten
I might be lost
I might be finally free

That speaks to the heart of the matter. With the loss comes a grieving, an unbearable pain at times, but also a type of freedom. So say your last goodbyes to things that are not meant for you, things that don’t serve you, get lost and in the end finally get free.

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

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