Sunday, 6 April 2008


I was watching a daytime talk show recently and the subject of saying goodbye came up – specifically how easy or hard do you find saying Goodbye.

I’m one of those people who has to hug and kiss my friends/relatives when saying goodbye but I know a lot of people who would just rather throw a wave in your general direction as they rush out of the door.

The hardest goodbye I’ve ever had to say was to our youngest son when we left him at his digs in Huddersfield when he started university. We’d done a few trips there before the big day – well I had to make sure it was clean before my baby moved in – and of course there was the inevitable ‘supplies’ of bedding, food and cleaning materials etc., etc., to be transported. When the ‘actual’ day came I wanted it to be a happy occasion – “You’ll be fine darling, ring us at least once a week to let us know how happy you are”, you know what I mean. What actually happened was somewhat different. We did all the jolly stuff like I’ve just mentioned, then he stood at the gate as we drove away, waving at us until we reached the top of the hill and turned the corner. I don’t know if he had tears because he was just a blur through mine! I was distraught and MWM was struggling to hold back the gush of water just desperate to sprout from his eyes. An hour or so later, when we got home, I had calmed down but the sadness of leaving my baby to fend for himself was overwhelming, he may have been 18 but he was still my baby! MWM made all the right noises – “He’ll be fine, stop worrying, he’ll have the time of his life”. He said it often and almost convinced me.

The next morning the postman pushed an envelope through our letterbox and as I bent to pick it up I recognised the handwriting – it was my baby’s! I tore open the letter and the first sentence broke my heart……

Dear Mum and Dad

It’s half-an-hour since you left me here and I am sitting in my room writing this because I miss you……..

He must have written it and gone out to post it straight away! How could I have said “Goodbye” and just left him?

I’m a BAD mother!

What has been the hardest goodbye you’ve ever said and are you a “I’m going now cheerio, mwah, mwah” sort of person, or do you sneak out hoping no-one will notice?


Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh how sweet that he wrote you like that!

smiles, bee

Casdok said...

Oh that brought a tear to my eye. My hardest goodbyes are every 4 weeks when i say goodbye to my son when i leave him at boarding school.

bindhiya said...

Hi Akelamalu,
That was so sweet he wrote you right away!
good byes are real hard for me too..

have a beautiful rest of the weekend..
♥ & ((hugs))

ps. you have a little something at my place..please check when you get a chance.. :))

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh bless him.

It's funny, I'm normally a hugs and kisses goodbye person, but when I went in for my op' I kind of kept it brief as I would have cried, but also because I didn't want to feel it was 'goodbye' so I avoided it with 'see you later' and stuff.

CG said...

What a lovely story. The hardest goodbye I ever said was to K in Canada. We had spent a wonderful holiday together and she was very sick: I didn't know if we'd see each other again..

When I saw the title of your post for one terrible minute I thought you were closing your blog!!!

ciara said...

ake-i had a similar experience when i left my son to live w my parents when they lived 3 hrs away from here. i had just married stinky and moved to cali..he didn't want to live w us.

we stopped there first to drop him off and bring all his stuff then take off on the following day. the next day when it came time to leave i cried like a freaking baby and when my son saw me he told me to stop 'cause man...' and he started crying, too. about a yr later he came to live w us because my mom was working his nerves over his gf (i think she was just jealous of my son's attention being elsewhere). anyways, after we bought the new house in aug of 2006 he stayed 2 wks and then moved back to vegas. that's where we lived before here and where he was was his plan. i didn't cry, but for weeks i kept expecting him to come home from work. it definitely wasn't the same w/o him here. now i can't imagine what it will be like when my babies (the girls) leave home. they go to their dads about 3 or 4 times a yr. the first time was took me about 3 of the 7 wks they were gone to not be so weird, cry, etc., over them being gone.

that really was a sweet letter from your son. shit, now i think i'm gonna start crying from all this and remembering and worrying bout the future LOL

Real Live Lesbian said...

What a sweet story! I'm terrible with goodbyes...every one of mine are tear-filled, blubbering experiences.

JOY said...

Oh I remember the saddest goodbye i'v ever done to my mom because I need to stay in a boarding house. Gosh that was so bad. But the worsest goodbye was when I need to travel far to find myself. I shed a tank of tears :(

buffalodickdy said...

When my son moved to Kansas City, 700 miles away. It took weeks before it sank in...

Travis said...

Would you believe that my sister and I never actually left home?

Our mom did! See, she reunited with the love of her life after 20 years and moved away to southern California to be with him. My sis and I stayed behind with the lives we were putting together.

Momma said...

That post transported me right back to the day when I drove away from my son in Daytona Beach, FL, his first time away from home ever, and so far from our home. I cried and cried.

He ended up coming back to an in-state college after that first semester, but it made him into the fine young man he is now. He grew up a lot during those few months.

I am definitely not one to sneak out or say a cursory goodbye. I've lost enough people that I love to know that you just never know.

Peace - D

Jeff B said...

The hardest goodbye was last July 19th. It was the night before my father passed away and I knew I'd never see him again on this side of eternity. I rolled up in his arms and cried (like I am right now) and told him how much I loved him and what a great dad he'd been to me.

You are NOT a bad mom, and the letter your son sent to you is a testiment to that.

jennifer h said...

You need to put a box of tissues next to a post like this!

I'm bracing myself for the day when my kids leave home...

That was a sweet letter your boy sent you, and you are a good mom.

snowelf said...

I still can't talk about my saddest goodbye because it's too hard, but I feel so much comfort in you being able to share yours as it's very similar in the emotions involved.



Miss Understood said...

Thanks for that, Ak. Now I have to redo my bloody make-up!

Putting aside saying goodbye to loved ones before they passed away, my hardest gooodbye was when I left home for the first time. I was just under 17 and my Mum stood in the doorway crying like a baby. It was awful.

I'm a huggy, kissy kinda person. I hate flippant goodbyes.

Flowerpot said...

I hate goodbyes of any kind - get quite teary just thinking about them.

girl with the mask said...

My hardest goodbye is everytime The Boyfriend travels his 100 miles back home and leaves me for another two weeks.

If every time I did the whole 'mah!mwah!' huges and kisses thing, I'd be a wreck. I have had to teach myself to swallow the tears and get onto busying myself right away.

Lovely story about your son. I do think that it is only when you move away from home that you appreciate how much you love your mum. Look at me- I moved back!

G.I.M x

Dan's Fi-ver said...

Definately not a bad mother...!

I think I posted it on my way to the pub!

Love you both


CrazyCath said...

Oh not a bad mother. And that last comment confirms it!
I think it is very hard and I dread when my son finally leaves home, although I tease him about not being able to wait to get my house back!

I am more tactile than a lot in my family and that is difficult sometimes when hugs are *coolly* received. Funnily enough though, in hospital or when very ill I hug, but don't say "Goodbye". It's always "See you later". I never tempt fate!

Sandy said...

I thought this was such a lovely post. Saw your interview with David. Nice interview and a lovely picture of you!

Akelamalu said...

Yes it was but it broke my heart Bee :(

Oh don't tell me, I just couldn't do it on a regular basis Casdok I'd be a wreck!

I think he did it to make me feel guilty about leaving him Bindi!

I'm the same when going into hospital Jo I always think I'm not going to come out!

That really is the hardest goodbye - leaving someone who's really ill CG. Me closing my blog not likely! :)

Leaving your kids is a very hard thing to do, it must have broke your heart Ciara. Try not to think about your girls leaving it's a way off yet. x

Oh you're a blubberer like me RLL xx

I think all goodbyes are hard but Mothers and children must be the hardest Joy

You just keep expecting them to walk through the door don't you Buffalo? :(

I bet that was hard Trav, but it's wonderful that she found her special someone again isn't it?

Oh your story is just like mine Momma, my boy came home every opportunity he could he was so homesick.

Jeff you made me cry too, have a hug honey. xxx

I had a box of tissues by my side whilst writing it Jennifer. It's hard to let them go but you just have to don't you?

Oh whatever it involved snowelf I feel for you honey. x

Oh blimey sorry Miss U. Your poor Mum must have been heartbroken waving you off. :(

I do too Flowerpot :(

I bet your mum was so happy to have you back GIM and I feel for you hon having to say goodbye to your BF so often. x

You went to the pub after posting that letter to me Dan? There was me thinking you were sitting in your room crying! You bad boy! We love you too. xxxx

It is terrible when they leave home but you soon get used to the peace Cath ;) LOL

Why thankyou Sandy and thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. :)

Gledwood said...

"I'm a BAD MOTHER" ~ I always had you down as a dreadful mother so what's new.

O man you gotta be so careful what you say online so not for you bc I know you know that was irony may I let it be known that was a JOKE. Dur!

Right: yeah goodbye. My Aussie cous came over for 3 years. At 1st we dint really get on (y'know family duty forced us to meet & so on...) then we broke through the clingfilmlike shield of awkwardness and anyway when she had to go with the man I knew she was going to marry I could not face hours and hours drinking coffee on coffee at Heathrow and perpetually saying goodbye on goodbye I just said my words and turned back at the tube station. Nasty business, them Goodbyes

James Goodman-Horror Writer said...

oh, that brought a tear to my eye, Akelamalu. That beats about any hard goodbye I can think of...

Misty Dawn said...

That is so touching, and it speaks volumes of you and your husband being wonderful parents. You are a very special person.

My hardest goodbye was this past June. My dad made the trip out here with me to help me move. Then, Dad rode back to Ohio with my husband about a week later. The day he left, I couldn't stop crying. I still cry every time I think about it. I finally had the relationship with my dad that I had waited for, dreamed about, and prayed for for over 20 years, and now I was moving away from it. Oh... I have to stop now - tears ;-)

Dumdad said...

What a lovely letter to receive from a son!

Akelamalu said...

I knew you were joking Gleds x What a shame you had to say goodbye to your cousin just when you were getting on so well.

Sorry for making your eyes water James x

Oh Misty what a shame you had to move away from your Dad, that's so sad. :(

I thought so too Dumdad :)

The Fixer said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Come again soon!


Raven said...

Wonderful post... I'd say if he missed you that much that quickly, you must be a pretty GOOD mother.

I think my hardest good-bye was when I moved back East from living with my niece in Arizona. It wasn't a happy or comfortable parting. They had treated me pretty badly and I was awash in grief and love. I was also leaving my 1 year old great niece. Being around for the first year of her life was such a blessing and daily miracle. My niece and I have healed our relationship, but that was an agonizing parting.

Odat said...

What a sweet son! Must be cause he has a sweet Mom!

I'm bad at Goodbyes...I make them very long partings.....

GEWELS said...

Awww! That's the sweetest letter. My kids ahve never written me a letter like that. Probably because they're never more than 1 mile from us.

The hardest goodbye? Hmm, it's a toss up between two loves I've had. I thought I would DIE- but now I don't know what I saw in either of them. Heehee- with age comes wisdom!

Sorry I haven't visited (or blogged) in ages. Been crazy busy since February. Working so much that I can't wait to get AWAY from the computer.
Thanks for checking in- I've missed you too.

Julia Smith said...

I hate every goodbye I've ever had to make. And when my friends and family are split between NS, Toronto and Michigan, that means many goodbyes over the years. Each one with me thinking, okay, be strong, be strong, then crumble, crumble, weep, weep, hug, kiss, hug, kiss.

Mimi Lenox said...

That is one of the sweetest stories I've ever read. Awwww.....I could see the whole thing happening right before my watery eyes.

I'm a hugger and an "I love you" sayer (when appropriate) upon goodbye. But that's just me.

Akelamalu said...

Hi Fixer, I will :)

Thank you Raven. Sad partings are terrible. x

Yes he is a sweet son Odat, thankyou. xx

Ah yes age and wisdom! It's great to see you back Gewels x

It's sad that your family and friends are so scattered Julia x

I do that too Mimi, I also blubber! :(

Marianne said...

This is such a lovely post - glad I popped by from Girl with a Mask's place. It reminded me of my mum who used to stand in the road crying and waving whenever I left home. I'm lucky because I'm always telling her not to be so silly that it takes my mind off actually crying myself. All the best, Marianne

Akelamalu said...

Welcome Marianne :)

Us mums cry easy, good ploy of yours to stop yourself crying. :)

elena jane said...

oh my, i love that he wrote you a note!! that's so sweet....i hug friends and family hello and goodbye...i hate just waving, tho some ppl seem more comfortable with it. my kids all get kisses on the way out (even the ones who wipe them off, lol)...

Akelamalu said...

Oh little ones are funny when they wipe off kisses aren't they Elena

Anonymous said...