A good-bye is never painful unless you’re never going to say hello again. – Unknown.

Hello. This is Manqoba Mkhize. You probably know me as a poor, struggling guy from the dusty streets of Ulundi. This is true, except that this time I don’t want you to feel pity for me. This time I need your help, I need you to listen, and maybe talking to you will help me forget for a while.

I tried talking to others before but all they said was, “There is a reason,” or, “Time will heal.” To tell you the truth it’s been more than 10 years and the wound is still wide open.

OK, where do I start? Have you ever been up all night and cried till you had no more tears left in you? Ever wondered why there is “good” in “goodbye”? Have you ever ended up being confused about whether what hurt the most was the “Goodbye” you had to say or the “Hello” you’ll never say again? Shouldn’t it maybe be “bad-bye”, or something? I mean, goodbye shouldn’t be forever. If it is, then let’s call it bad-bye instead.

Please don’t just sit there, help me, help me figure out how to say goodbye forever. I mean, how come the first “hello” and the last “goodbye” can be the hardest words to say? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to bottle it all onto you, it’s just that I’ve been forced by some cruel circumstances to say goodbye without actually saying it, isn’t that painful?

Pease don’t tell me that “True goodbyes are the ones never said or explained,” because that is the most painful and most soul devastating thing ever. Being left without an ending, with no real goodbyes, just silence. And most of the time you don’t get a chance to wrap it all up. You don’t get closure.

Tell me how to accept that, tell me how to accept the reality that you will never see or hear from a person for your entire life. Someone who has been a part of your life, most especially if that someone already owned a space of your heart. The only option you have is remembering them and being mesmerised by the memory of the days you spent with them. You are left only with those memories.

Can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and care about and then just stay together, forever? What is more painful than knowing that people you made memories with in your childhood couldn’t make it to your adulthood? Yet they ask us to forget the past and embrace the future. But that’s not easy, either. It really hurts.

I guess they are right though, time puts an end to many wonderful things but we shouldn’t despair. We should focus on the beautiful memories we made and the moments we shared, for in the beauty of the past lies the joy of the future.

Someone once said, “Death is just pyjamas,” and he has given me hope. I hope to see all my beloved ones in the morning. As they say a closed door often leads to an open window. So if every goodbye is an end, it means it is also a beginning. And behind each goodbye, I hope, lies an opportunity for a new “hello” and a new adventure.

To all our friends, brothers, sisters, parents, our beloved ones who couldn’t make it to the next chapter in life, may your beautiful souls rest in peace. I hope the reunion will be the happiest and most joyous event ever.

Well I’ve got to go now, thank you for listening.


Tell us what you think: Have you ever said goodbye to someone you loved? How did you handle it?