(Reader Lee McCutcheon was inspired by the View from the Strip, March 12, and wanted to share some words written for his mother’s funeral in 2005):
Saying “Goodbye” never hurts so much as when we know that it is final. Throughout our lives we issue each “Goodbye” comforted in the knowledge and reasonable expectation that each one correspondingly will be followed with a welcome “Hello.” And so it becomes very hurtful when we must face the reality that such expectations for someone we have known and loved, no longer hold true.
It’s my understanding that the wishes “Fare thee well,” “Farewell,” and”Fond farewell” were precursors to the expression “Goodbye.” When we wish someone a “Goodbye,” it contains the hope that the one with whom we are parting company will be well until we meet again. And, therefore, the prospect of never meeting again can be the one that hurts the most.
Even with the understanding of the inevitabilities in life, there’s nothing that we can ever say, or do, it seems that truly prepares us for the day when a dearly loved one is no longer a part of our lives.
Such were my feelings when in July 2001 my youngest sister, Sylvia Lewis, died at the early age of 48; and in March 2002 when my Dad, Allin Stewart, died at the senior age of 84.
Mom, I know that we have to say goodbye for now. And on behalf of all in our family I thank everyone who came to this service today to share in this farewell. But know this too Mom, that we weren’t ready yet to say goodbye to you. The truth be told, we never would be and that we truly wished we would never have to.