Goodbyes break my heart, namely final ones.
My biological father was absent from my life due to his choices, but my Pops, my stepfather, choose to fill those voids. He was a wonderful father, and grandfather. He was involved, and he was loving; everything I needed and more. That is why when he was diagnosed with cancer a few days after his retirement we were caught off guard and devastated.
He did not have an easy time with treatments. He faced nearly ever complication imaginable, and some unimaginable. After almost 3 years of fighting, he succumbed to his disease. His last days were pretty horrific. He cried and writhed in pain. We couldn't manage it, and morphine only provided a short time of peace.
The last time I spoke to my Pops, June 1st, 2011, he hadn't eaten or had a drink in days. He was in and out of psychosis, but there were few moments of clarity. That day, he and I sat alone. He glanced out the window looking at his farm he loved and worked hard to keep, and he looked back at me, and told me "goodbye". I cried, so did he. I told him I wasn't ready for that; there were too many things he hadn't taught me, but he just shook his head and told me how proud he was of me and that he loved me. It was a short conversation, but it was one that I hope to never forget.
Losing someone is hard. It is gut wrenching. It is painful. Those goodbyes are too. I have an Uncle who hates "goodbyes;" he won't say the word. If you do, he will wag his finger at you and say, "no no no...don't say that, goodbyes are final. I'll see you later!"
So, maybe, I hope that even though we said our goodbyes that day, what it really meant was "I'll see you later."
Submitted by: Rachel
Thank you Rachel for your sweet story about your "Pops." It makes me think about my Granddaddy who passed away Christmas Eve 2011. Saying goodbye to him was the hardest think I have ever done. I really never thought about looking at it from the perspective of it not being a "goodbye," but rather an "I'll see you later." It really is so comforting to think of it from that point of view.
I hope it bring you peace knowing it IS only an "I'll see you later."