Saying goodbye can be hard. At times, it can be excruciating — like when you have to say a final goodbye to someone who has passed or mourn the last time your child sucked their thumb. But some goodbyes are whispers of endings. They happen so softly, so smoothly, you don’t even realize you’re saying goodbye until the day you wake, think about a person, and realize it has been months or maybe even years since you’ve spoken.
Those are the goodbyes of my life right now. The whispers.
I’m guessing it’s just the age I am and where life is right now — that time when kids are active, school functions seem to occur hourly, and sports, time with family, date nights, and needing some personal time to unwind all take precedence over “girl time.” We all have jam-packed schedules, even more packed minds, and life seems to be leading us around on a tight leash instead of us choosing how we spend our time. I’m guessing. I’m hoping.
I seem to be saying goodbye a lot without saying a word. I am finding myself untethered to my female friends like never before. When evenings out turn into lunches here and there, sandwiched between meetings and needing to pick up kids. When those lunches then turn to texts about all the things we want to do together — movies, girls’ nights, makeovers, spa days — until the texts turn into simple, “Hello, thinking of you!” I’ve entered the stage where even the texts are few and far between. That stage where I am sure I am on my friends’ minds, but even a text is an item on a to-do list, and one that will probably be put off until tomorrow. I know, because they are also on my to-do list.
I won’t lie and say that I am all-accepting of this and that it is fine, because while I do accept and understand, I’m still sad. I am mourning the loss of my friendships, my connections, my lifeline to the outside world — the world outside of kids and homework, sibling fights, and blended family struggles. That world where I could unwind with those who knew me best and just be myself. Where I could escape life for a bit with other women who needed that escape as desperately as I did and envelop myself in the warmth of female bonding. Where I could melt into a hug, rejoice in the little triumphs of life, lament the passing of time and the growing of kids — the struggles that are life — and imbibe a glass of wine. We’d eat too much — because hey! female bonding! — and this is a woman who knows how much I love dessert. She knows me, she loves me, and because of this, she too is eating too much dessert. Comradery. We are smiling and happy in our sisterhood.
I miss that. I miss my women.
That said, I know this is the cycle a lot of us go through, and I am not angry or hurt — just sad. Sad that the goodbyes are so frequent, so silent. I know there is no anger, no betrayal, or ill-intent. In fact, I know the love is still there. The desire is ever-present — the hope that life will slow down and allow for that time to gather again, bond over nachos and chocolate cake. I know that when that time comes, I’ll be ready with my fat pants on, my heart filled with the love I’ve been storing, ready to pour out into hugs, laughs, glasses of wine. and too much dessert.
Until then, I’ll send a text letting them know I’m thinking of them.
I’ll do it tomorrow.