On the flip side of being fortune to have wonderful people come into your life there is a straining process attached having to say goodbye to all the people who pass in and out of your life.
It was in early April when I spent my last Senegalese days at the farm of the Mbaye family that I learned the importance of how to say goodbye to the people we leave behind, with the hopes of seeing them again in the future.This was at the farm where I had spent a considerable amount of time for the past eight months.
On my last day at the farm I sat down with my host sister Absa, and reminded her that I would leave for Norway on the following day. Emphasizing that I was sad to leave without being certain of when I would be able to return. Absa turned to me with a stern face and an almost aggravated voice. Telling me that I had no right to be sad, for I had left my own mother and for eight months. She questioned how I could leave my family to go on a selfish trip to Senegal. Perplexed as I was she made sure to tell me that it was not sad that I would leave. The importance was that I would soon see that people that I had physically left behind. Later on in the evening it came as no surprise that my last goodbye with Absa was a brief event. A firm handshake and a “see you next time” was her way of saying goodbye.
Absa thought me a good lesson on what it means to leave people. And the way Absa left me is the way I want to leave others. A temporarily goodbye until the next time we see each other. Saying goodbye without making a fuzz out of it is what I see as honoring the time spent together with another person. Being grateful for the time spent and leaving with certainty that the people you truly care for you will inevitably see them again.
Some, or even many of the people who temporarily come into our lives are people we might never see again. And in that case the quality of the relationship may be questioned. But certainly there are those people who leave a mark on you, leaving no doubt that a qualitative relationship has been established. Those are the relationships where there is no need to make a fuzz about leaving the other person behind.
As we move on to new places and people it is the handshakes and the “see you next time” that tell truth about what it means to leave another person. The truth that the people who have impacted us will always be imprinted in the back of our minds. And although there is no certainty when you will meet again, there will always be peculiar ways of finding back to each other.
Until next time Absa.