Why does it take a farewell to find the words?



People walk in and out of our lives all the time… they move house, they move jobs, they leave a town, they leave a country, and inevitability, they will, at some point - leave the world around us. 

Tomorrow, I will be farewelling my good friend Georgie, and over the past week there have fittingly been the most beautiful words and stories shared about her. We’ve reflected, we’ve cried, we’ve been inspired, we’ve laughed and we’ve been so very grateful for having her in our lives.

And it made me think… why does it take a farewell to find the words?

How many jobs have you left and at your farewell you’ve been blown away by the kind words said about you? Read such beautiful messages written on farewell cards from people you had no idea felt that way?

Or on the flip side – perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to make a farewell speech for someone? Put pen to paper on their farewell card, finding the words as to how much you’re actually going to miss them? Sure it’s not every time – but those people who have an impact on us, and a special place in our hearts, they’re the ones for whom we do find the words when it comes to farewelling them.

Why is it we don’t just tell people how we feel regardless of a farewell? How amazing they are? What lovely things people say about them when they’re not around? 

And at a funeral – how many words have gone unspoken until that final farewell? Why do we hold back until it’s too late? Why don’t we say those words while they can still be heard?

I think sometimes – a farewell almost forces us to find the words that would have perhaps gone unsaid otherwise. Maybe we wouldn’t have realised we felt that way if we weren’t almost ‘forced’ to stop and think about why it is we’re going to miss them, why we wish they weren’t leaving.

On a personal note, I did have the chance tell Georgie how amazing she was, how much admiration I had for her, yet I still wanted to say goodbye one last time… but we don’t always get that chance.

Don’t miss your chance. Don’t let feelings go unsaid. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Find the words. Find them today.


(Originally published - 22nd October 2015)