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How To Improve Your Quality of Life by Using the Seven Moments - Moment #4

By: Christian Blake

Lifestyle Moment #4 Ė Goodbye - "Goodbyes are a good thing."

My mom and dad watched helplessly as the machines pumped oxygen into my little brotherís lungs. His name was Pete. He was seven years old.

His skin had gone deathly pale since the accident, the rose in his cheeks long gone. "Thereís no brain activity," a doctor told us several months back. "Only the machines are keeping him alive."

On a particularly cold and cloudy Sunday afternoon, my family gathered to say our final goodbyes. Flowers, balloons, and cards adorned his hospital bed. There were seven of us who crowded the small room. We held hands and listened as our pastor spoke quietly about my brotherís life.

Later on that evening, when the hospital staff had all but disappeared, when the lights had gone dim and the tiled hospital hallways had gone deathly quiet, when the sun had finally set and the window overlooked the night sky, my mom nodded her approval to the doctor. One-by-one, he shut off the machines. My mother openly wept as my little brother Pete finally left this world and slipped quietly away.

There are countless ways to experience a goodbye. We can say "Goodbye!" to someone and walk away, or we can say "Goodbye!" and hang up the phone. We can shake hands goodbye or give somebody a hug. A goodbye can be in the form of a slight nod or a curt wave. We can also simply walk away without any verbal acknowledgment whatsoever.

Goodbyes can seem entirely insignificant: saying goodbye to friends after a night out on the town or saying goodbye to your children as they walk out the front door to school. However small and impersonal they might seem, they are very strong in the human experience; and they should always be experienced with your utmost attention.

The degree of a goodbye depends on factors such as your relationship with whomever youíre saying farewell to and the reason you are doing so (parting ways with a grocery clerk has far less impact on the human spirit than saying goodbye to your husband who is terminally ill).

Most of us take goodbyes for granted. I know I used to. Thatís to be expected when we experience them as often as we do. When we say goodbye, we assume we will see that particular person again. The reality is the next goodbye you share with someone could be your last. There is always a slight chance you will never see that person again.

Iím not trying to bring you down or to be negative. Not at all. Iím not suggesting that you break down crying like a baby every time you say goodbye to someone. Iím just pointing out that goodbyes are strong moments in the human experience, and we should learn to appreciate them. If you are uncomfortable saying goodbye to someone, as it might be when you know you will not see this person for an extended period of time, then embrace the discomfort and allow yourself to feel it. Donít shirk it off or try to subdue it (that would be counterproductive to maximizing your life experience). To avoid a goodbye altogether is nothing more than robbing yourself of one of the more powerful moments in life.

Christian Blake has since written two books on the Seven Moments. One is for the general public: how to be happy, and the other is geared towards entertainment; specifically teaching screen writers how to write a screenplay. If you prefer to read more of Christian Blake's general writing, please visit Los Angeles Writer.
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