The first time I said goodbye doesn’t count, because I didn’t say it aloud. I said goodbye in my mind and heart to the part that was more than a friend. It was a partial goodbye because I hoped the friend could stay while the “more” quietly slipped away.
The second time I said goodbye, it was a hot August day. I was sure I’d never see you again, and didn’t think we’d stay in touch. I kept you close in my heart, knowing I could never, ever forget you. I didn’t tell you how much you meant to me. I still haven’t. I probably never will.
I haven’t said the third goodbye yet. I’m afraid to, because I know the third goodbye will be the hardest. For me-emotional and difficult. For you-I don’t know. I know you won’t be the one to say goodbye. It will be my choice. I will say the words. I will turn and walk away. I will try not to cry in front of you. The third goodbye will be for keeps.
(Originally published on Facebook, August 29, 2016.)