Premature Farewells

By: Dahlia Laury  |  May 12, 2020

By Dahlia Laury, Staff Writer

There are always those people who hate saying goodbye, instead, they prefer to say, “see you later” or “until next time.”  The word goodbye just seems so strong and there is a deeper meaning to the phrase — it signifies a parting of ways, often indefinitely. However, there is not always a “next time.” There is not always a “later.” Of course, the main issue with this is that we don’t know the future. We cannot tell when a simple goodbye may be our last, or perhaps a farewell that lasts longer than we hope. 

Seniors of 2020, we never got to say our real goodbyes. We will not be celebrating our ending with heartfelt hugs, last-minute jokes, and being together for one last time. At the start of our college career, we knew it would end of course, but not like this. There was no emotional preparation for the future. There is no meaningful closure from the past three, four, or five years we have spent at Yeshiva University.  

I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to say goodbye. 

The thing is, we are never ready. We may be prepared to say goodbye to a close family member or friend in their last days. We may be prepared to say goodbye to an old home that we know we will never live in again. We may know that a chapter in our life is ending and even see the exact moment that it will never be the same again. Though, with all this knowledge of a finite part of our lives, we still are not ready for the final goodbye.

Perhaps it is more painful to prepare for an end. The anxiety, the unending thought process of how we will eventually move on and continue, the knowledge that some things will never be the same. All of these emotions subtract from the now. We spend so much energy thinking about what will be, that we barely enjoy what is in the present. 

Take graduation for example. I was prepared to likely mope and commiserate in the last few days with my friends. To mentally prepare myself for the end of an era. To spread out my goodbyes and focus on all I had done over the past few years. This is not to say that now I won’t do this. In fact, I likely will, and many of my fellow graduates will do the same, just over Zoom, Facetime, or some other long-distance method.

We didn’t say goodbye, and maybe that within itself is a gift. Those last few days, if one can recall, were normal. We went to normal class and we did our normal everyday college kid activities. It all ended so abruptly that we had no time to mourn together. Humans and our emotions feed heavily off those around them, and in a way, this goodbye may be less tearful this time. It is still sad, it is still unfair, but it is reality, and this is one perspective that may be the least depressing. 

Good times were enjoyed, hardships were overcome. We learned, we laughed, we cried — and then, we left. In a way, this is an easier goodbye than I thought it would be. I came to college with one thing on my mind, just a simple bachelor’s degree, anything else along the way would just be a bonus. I got what I wanted, and so much more. I just wanted to say a thank you in my final adieu.

Thank you to my teachers who believed in me, thank you to my friends who fought for me, thank you to my family who I was able to come back to, and thank you to any and all of you who enhanced my life over the past three years.