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How to say goodbye forever to someone you love

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How to say goodbye forever to someone you love
September 01, 2018 Wedding Anniversary Wishes 3 comments

30 mins - The 5 love languages - what when we have toxic love languages? 38 mins Amy Young - How To Say Goodbye To Unavailable People, Forever. breaking the spell of choosing someone who is not choosing you.

“He came up and kissed me on my forehead, and before he stepped away, I closed my eyes and tried hard to memorize this moment. I wanted to remember him exactly as he was right then, how his arms looked brown against his white shirt, the way his hair was cut a little too short in the front. Even the bruise, there because of me.

Then he was gone.

Just for that moment, the thought that I might never see him again… it felt worse than death. I wanted to
run after him. Tell him anything, everything. Just don’t go. Please just never go. Please just always be near me, so I can at least see you.

Because it felt final. I always believed that we would find our way back to each other every time. That no matter what, we would be connected—by our history, by this house. But this time, this last time, it felt final. Like I would never see him again, or that when I did, it would be different, there would be a mountain between us.

I knew it in my bones. That this time was it. I had finally made my choice, and so had he. He let me go. I was relieved, which I expected. What I didn’t expect was to feel so much grief.

Bye bye, Birdie.
― Jenny Han, We'll Always Have Summer


“When someone you love says goodbye you can stare long and hard at the door they closed “I don't know how you say good-bye to whom and what you love.

How to say goodbye to someone you love (when you don’t want to)

how to say goodbye forever to someone you love

How to Say Goodbye

Saying Short-Term GoodbyesSaying Long-Term GoodbyesSaying Goodbye ForeverArticle SummaryQuestions & AnswersRelated ArticlesReferences

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Knowing how and when to say goodbye is often difficult, even in informal situations. But learning to say goodbye eloquently, tactfully, and appropriately is a skill that will help you maintain your relationships and let people know you care. It's also easier than it seems sometimes. Read on to learn how to recognize opportunities and anticipate others' needs when you leave.



Saying Short-Term Goodbyes

  1. 1

    Recognize when to leave. When you're at any kind of party or gathering, or even a one-on-one conversation, it can be difficult to get away. Learning to recognize good opportunities to leave will make a short-term goodbye much easier.
    • Notice if the crowd seems to be dwindling. If more than half the people have left, it might be a good time to leave. Find the host, or your friends, give a wave to the room, and leave. Try not to add too much emphasis to your leaving - this could make them feel as if you are desperate to get out.
    • Leave when you want. If you know you won't be able to stay until the end then you could perhaps speak to them beforehand or at the beginning of the party. You don't need to wait for any special signal. If you're ready to go home, or ready for the conversation to move along, say, "Well, I'll be going. See you all later!"
  2. 2

    Watch body language. Overstaying your welcome is rude, but it can often be difficult to distinguish. People don't like telling you that they'd like you to leave, so try to watch for signals. This may be some other family members starting to pack up or the fact that there is hardly anyone left.[1]
    • If the host of a party starts cleaning up, or withdraws from the conversation, gather your friends or belongings and make your exit. It's also time to leave if someone starts checking their watch or seems otherwise restless.
  3. 3

    Make plans to see each other again. Even saying, "See you at school tomorrow," or "Can't wait to see you again at Christmas" keeps the goodbye light and focused forward. If you haven't already made plans, use it as an opportunity to make them. Even saying, "See you soon" suggests just that.
    • Set up a coffee date or meet for lunch later in the week if it makes the goodbye easier, but don't commit to anything you don't want to. It's OK to just leave.
  4. 4

    Tell the truth. It can be tempting to come up with a "good excuse" when you're ready to leave. You don't need to (lying could also make them feel hurt if they find out you didn't mean it). If you want to leave, just say, "I'm going to go now, see you later." It doesn't need to be any more complicated than that. If you want to extract from a conversation you're ready to end, "I'll talk to you later," is likewise plenty.[2]


Saying Long-Term Goodbyes

  1. 1

    Plan an appropriate time to talk before the departure. If someone you know is leaving for several years to go overseas, or leaving for college, it can be a stressful and hectic time while they're planning a trip. Set up a definitive time and place to meet and say goodbye. Likewise, prioritize your goodbyes if you're the one doing the leaving. Don't make plans with people you don't really care about saying goodbye to and forget to see your sister.
    • Choose an enjoyable location––maybe over dinner, or strolling your favorite neighborhood, or spending time together doing something both of you have always enjoyed, like watching a game.
  2. 2

    Talk about the good times you've had. Recount your funniest stories, reminisce about happy things. Dig deep into your past: the things you've done together, the things that happened while you were friends, the time you have spent together, maybe even how you met.
    • Don't start the goodbye the second you get into the room. Gauge the person's attitude about leaving, or about your leaving. If it's a trip they're not looking forward to, don't spend the whole time asking them questions about their deployment. If they're excited, don't spend the whole time bumming them out by telling them how much everyone will miss them. If your friends are jealous of your job opportunity in France, don't spend the whole time bragging about it.
  3. 3

    Be open and friendly. It's important to establish the standing of the relationship. If you want to keep in contact, let them know. Exchange email, phone, and address information.[3]
    • Asking for an e-mail address or phone number can be comforting, so that you can still talk with them, but also be honest. If you have no intentions of staying in touch, don't ask for contact details. It can leave a departing friend wondering about your sincerity.
    • Make sure your family members are all up to date with your location and status, and that you're up to date about them before either one leaves. It's important to not give anyone the impression that you're withdrawing or disappearing.
  4. 4

    When it's time to leave, make it brief and sincere. Most people don't enjoy a long, drawn-out goodbye, but make your goodbye personal. If you need to express complicated feelings, consider writing them in a letter for the person to read later. In person, keep things light and fun. Hug, say your piece, and wish them luck in their journey. Don't overstay your welcome.
    • If you're leaving for a long time and can't take everything with you, giving stuff away can be a nice gesture and solidify a relationship. Let your band buddy hang onto your old guitar while you're gone, or give your sibling a meaningful book they'll remember you by.
  5. 5

    Follow up. Stay in touch if you'd made plans to stay in touch. Talk on Skype or write funny postcards. If you gradually lose touch with a friend or loved one you sincerely would like to hear from, make an extra effort. If it seems as if your friend as become too busy, try not to get too upset. Let things drift back together naturally.[4]
    • Keep your expectations for communication realistic. A friend going to college will make new friends and might not be able to keep up a weekly phone exchange.


Saying Goodbye Forever

  1. 1

    Say goodbye now. Putting off going to visit a loved one in the hospital is always a mistake, as is waiting until the last days before a friend leaves the country forever. Don't miss out on your chance to say goodbye and brighten their final moments. Alone in the hospital can be a terrible place to die. Be in the room and say what needs to be said. Spend as much time with your loved one as possible. Be with him or her and support them.[5]
    • Often, the dying want and are very comforted by one of four very particular messages: "I love you," "I forgive you," "Please forgive me," or "Thank you." If any of these seem appropriate, take care to include them in your goodbye.
  2. 2

    Do what feels appropriate. We often have the impression that death or other "forever" goodbyes are supposed to be a somber and joyless thing. But follow the lead of the person leaving. Your role is to be there for them and to comfort them in a time of need. If laughter is desired, or seems natural, then laugh.

  3. 3

    Tell the truth, selectively. It can be hard to know how honest to be with the dying. If you're visiting an ex-spouse or an estranged sibling, there can be lots of tension burbling under the surface, and complicated emotions at work in their passing. The hospital doesn't seem like the best time to let loose and tell off your father for being absent.
    • If you feel like the truth will hurt the person dying, recognize this and change the subject. Say, "You don't need to worry about me today" and change the subject.
    • It can be tempting to want to be overly optimistic, saying "No, there's still a chance. Don't give up" if a loved one says, "I'm dying." There's no need to dwell on something neither of you know for sure. Change the subject to, "How are you feeling today?" or reassure them by saying, "You look great today."
  4. 4

    Keep talking. Always speak gently and identify yourself as the person speaking. Even if you're not sure you're being heard, say what needs to be said. The goodbye process in death works both ways--make sure you don't regret not saying "I love you" one last time. Even if you're unsure if the person can hear you, say it, and you'll know.[6]

  5. 5

    Be present. Both physically and emotionally, be in the room. It can be difficult to avoid becoming hyperaware of the significance of the moment: "Is that the last time he'll say, 'I love you'?" Every moment can feel tense and electric. But get out of your own way and try, as much as possible, to experience the moments for what they are: time with a loved one.[7]
    • Often, the dying have a great amount of control over the actual moment of their death and will wait until they're alone to save their loved ones the pain of experiencing it. Likewise, many family members are committed to being there, "To the end." Be aware of this and try not to put too much emphasis on the exact moment of death. Say goodbye when it seems appropriate.

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • Question

    My crush is leaving temporarily. How do I say goodbye without being obvious?

    Maybe you should just tell hem how you feel. Then you will have a lot taken off your shoulders. Then again, if you don't want to tell them, just say good luck or goodbye with a sweet smile that you give to everyone.

  • Question

    How can I say goodbye to people I may never see again?

    It's hard, but remember that they will always be in your heart. If you want to keep in touch, ask if they would like to Skype or exchange letters.

  • Question

    My crush is leaving. How can I say goodbye without crying?

    Does it really matter if you cry? Losing someone you care about is an emotional occasion and it's fine for friends to cry when parting, so just act as friends when saying goodbye and mention something like "I don't like to see a friend leave". That will excuse any tears.

  • Question

    How do I say goodbye to my dying boyfriend?

    Stay with him. Hold his hand, and continue to say "I love you," even if you don't think he can hear.

  • Question

    My best friend is going far away due to a transfer. How do I say goodbye to him?

    Try to keep it positive, but if you need to cry don't hold it it. He will probably feel the same way. Give him a hug, and make sure that you will still have some way of contacting him after he moves away.

  • Question

    How do I say goodbye to someone who is dying?

    Sometimes you just have to keep it simple and quick to avoid it hurting that much. Because having to sit there and think about what to say to someone who soon won't be with you anymore hurts a lot more. It can also help to let them know it's okay to go, that can give them a sense of release.

  • Question

    What does it mean when I say "take care" to my ex boyfriend and he replies with "stop with the goodbyes?".

    It probably means that he doesn't really want you to talk, which explains why he is your ex. So don't sweat it and move on.

  • Question

    A dear close friend of mine is dying and I can't do anything. I can't visit them and I'm not going to get the chance to say goodbye in person. How do I begin to deal with this?

    Call. I missed my chance to call. When you call start with "hey, it's good to hear your voice." Your friend will lead the call. He/she will know what to say. You'll know how to reply. If your friend seems to lose train of thought or is less talkative, gently guide them to a goodbye with "you sound like you're getting tired. I want you to get some rest. You're a great friend and I'll be here for you to talk to whenever you need." Try not to remind your friend about passing on. However if your friend brings it up, follow their lead.

  • Question

    How can I say goodbye in a happy way?

    Don't think about it being a goodbye. Think about it as being a see you later. Also think about all the good things that the parting will bring for the other person, so that you can truly wish them well for their trip or departure.

  • Question

    How do I say goodbye without actually saying "goodbye"?

    You can say "see you around," "see you later" or "I look forward to seeing you again!"

Show more answers

Ask a Question


  • Remember, it's okay to cry.
  • Should you lose somebody you love, especially a family member, don't try not to think of them. Talk about them with others who knew and loved them- share funny stories, memories, habits and quotes.
  • If the person "disappears" but is still showing up on the radar now and then without contacting you, avoid blaming yourself for this. Sometimes people need a lot of space to resolve their internal issues without the past holding them back––let them be and they will come back, some day.[8]
  • Saying goodbye is often made all the more difficult when you see the separation solely from your own perspective. In choosing to see the removal of a person from your life as something to be endured, you can place an unbearable burden on the person leaving to try to console your loss, when only you have the ability to do that.
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How to Say Goodbye to Someone You Love: Don’t Be Afraid to Let Go

how to say goodbye forever to someone you love

A brutal truth about life is that we can die at any moment. 

In an instant, people that we know and love--friends and family members--can be taken from us, leaving the rest of us to work through the many feelings we have towards the deceased. 

While saying goodbye is not the same as someone dying, in some cases they're similar. 

Have you ever moved or graduated or secured a new job?

How many of your friends and associates did you maintain contact with?

Chances are, many of the people you used to spend time with--even the ones you attempted to stay connected to--faded away with time and distance. That's because it takes a significant amount of energy to sustain emotional connections while confronting the demands of adulthood. 

Now, you may think to yourself, "but I see them all the time on social media." But we both know that watching someone's highlight reel isn't the same as being with them as they navigate life's complexities. 

So, in some respects, your moving to a new environment resulted in something similar to death: your communication stopped. And your relationship to that person changed. 

That's why psychologists and other experts trained in mental, emotional, and psychological wellbeing prioritize what they call termination. 

Termination occurs when a therapist and client end their relationship. And what's most interesting about termination is how and when it's discussed.

Whereas most relationships fade into the background, terminations are intentional. They are discussed for weeks and sometimes months prior to the actual ending. 

As someone ending treatment with many of my clients, I've brought up termination--or the ending of our therapeutic relationship--several times throughout our work. But especially over the last month.

Each time clients say something that feels relevant to the ending of our work, I remind them about our ending. I specify how many sessions we have left. And I invite them to share more of their thoughts and feelings about it. 

When done properly, termination can help people leave the relationship with a sense of closure, wellbeing, and confidence in their future. 

Paradoxically, the only way that people can access those positive feelings is by sharing all of their frustrations, fears, regrets, and wishes prior to the relationship ending. 

During what I call the "termination phase" of treatment, I focus on creating space for a wide range of feelings. I encourage clients to share thoughts that they've typically kept private. I empathize with their wide range of responses. And I share my own reactions to the ending of our relationship.

I do all of this while summarizing the themes of our work. Encouraging clients to think about what they've learned from our time together. Setting goals for the future. And asking clients to imagine what life will be like without our sessions. 

Sometimes these conversations are short. Other times, they are long and full of intense feelings. But more often than not, even having these talks gives clients the opportunity to do something new: end our relationship the way that they'd like to.

Most often, we don't have the ability to choose how to end relationships. People stop showing up. People fade away. People move. Or a million other things happen that prevent the relationship from ending the way both parties would prefer. 

There's no right or wrong way to feel about a relationship ending. Each person varies according to their personality, their history, and their preferences. However, there can be better and worse ways to go about ending a relationship. 

Ghosting leaves people on both sides with unfinished business. Avoiding these uncomfortable conversations can do the same. And both of those result in people experiencing lingering thoughts and feelings for years to come. 

These feelings can take the form of anger or frustration at the person for leaving. They can be sadness, regret, or guilt from your inability to share your thoughts and feelings with them. And they can also involve feeling a sense of relief--being thankful that the relationship is over. 

That's why termination, or the ending of relationships in whatever form they take, can feel a lot like death. No matter how different they appear, sometimes the emotional impact is similar. 

While it may be uncomfortable to think about the loss of relationship as a death, bringing that seriousness and intentionality to such endings can result in greater fulfillment for both people. It gives you a chance to say things you typically wouldn't and opens you to feedback you might not otherwise receive. 

So instead of pulling away from the emotional discomfort, face it. Move towards these conversations by having them early and often. Accept with open arms all of the feelings that get expressed. And say what you need to say.

That way you can leave the relationship feeling ready to continue living your rewarding and fulfilling life. 

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

It means accepting what is instead of what you thought things ought to be. It means change. Letting Go of Love: The Bravery of Saying Goodbye Why was I holding onto someone who didn't love me the way I loved him?.

End-of-Life Care and Saying Goodbye

how to say goodbye forever to someone you love

We prepare ourselves for practically everything in this life. We go to the best universities to get the most prestigious degrees, and yet we don’t prepare ourselves for the one thing that we will all definitely experience: death. Neither for our own death, nor for that of a loved one. But is there really any way to prepare yourself for death?

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In my opinion, yes and no. Yes, when we live oriented towards eternity; that is to say, with our eyes fixed on eternal life, in heaven. Meeting God someday, face to face, is the most beautiful hope we can carry through our lives.

So then, how can we prepare ourselves to lose a loved one? The same way: by living with profound detachment, knowing that everyone we love is merely lent to us, and by saying goodbye with gratitude for the time we’ve shared. Of course, we understand this concept with our heads, but not with our hearts. That’s why it hurts so much to say goodbye.

What is clear to me is that mourning is experienced very differently when we live it from the perspective of gratitude and love, as compared to living it with fear and regret. In any case, death will always have an impact on us, surprise us and sadden us, as much as if our heart had been cut out. Then, time passes and we realize that healthy mourning helps to purify and transform our hearts.

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But, what is it that makes us sad? Is it just the absence of our loved ones? That frightening sensation of a knife going through your soul is very real. Only someone who has suffered profound losses can express it in words, and above all, understand it. It is painful to have to say “goodbye” (even if those of us who believe in eternal life know that it is a “goodbye” full of hope).

The lack of their presence grieves us. We miss their personal scent. We miss their words and their tone of voice. Hearing their favorite song transports us to special moments, and we wish we could turn back the clock and stop it there just to look at them, so that with silent words we could tell them just one more time how much we loved them… But how could we know that they would leave so soon…?

We are sorrowed by memories, and words left unsaid; by things we left up in the air, and problems we never solved; by hugs never given, caresses never received, and kisses never stolen; by forgiveness never granted, and attempts at reconciliation, rejected.

When God seems absent: Coping with depression

We mourn love that wasn’t accepted, calls that went unreturned, and messages that were never answered. We are saddened by their presence no longer present; by our impotence before their absence… Wanting to hug them and not being able to, consoling ourselves with the memory of the last squeeze of the hand we received from them.

We want to be wrapped in their protecting arms, and all we can do is hold tight to a pillow, soaked with our sorrow. We want to hear their voice, we need their advice, and we only hear their memory in the distance, because there is no one to answer, no one to respond to so much suffering.

It hurts that the world has forgotten them, and that the mark of love that they once left, is erased. The suffering of loss blinds us so much that day turns into night; we wake up in the morning without wanting to wake up, because we know that another day of tears awaits us, a day of that pain in our chest that doesn’t let us breath. Our weeping drowns us; we live without living. We simply think, “Now, how am I going to live without you? I want to go with you, but I can’t… I am still here, but I can’t go on… I live without living…”

And what comes next? Learning to live in a different way, accepting the sorrow, making it our own so that we can live with it. Then, it is transformed; the suffering changes, and it all takes on a different meaning.

How to find your purpose in life

The experts say that there are 5 or 6 stages of grief… Those stages of mourning were a model created by E. Kubler-Ross while working with terminal cancer patients. That is to say, the 5 stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) are the process experienced by a person who is going to die, but which today is applied to every process of grieving without distinction.

But when we are grieving, what good does it do to know what stage we are in? I want them to tell me in which of those stages I am going to stop missing you; in which I will cease to suffer your loss, in which I will stop weeping when your memory overpowers my soul, and I want to cry out your name with the impotence of an orphaned child who complains to the heavens, “Why did you go away? Why did you leave me?” In which stage do we cease to mourn the loss of a child or a brother or sister who didn’t deserve to die that way?

While we begin to live that process, we hear people of good will saying things that sound absurd: “She’s in a better place now,” and inside we think, “No! I want her with me.” And how about that saying, that “you have another little angel in heaven watching over you?” Really? No! I don’t want another little angel, I already have one. I want her, here at my side, taking care of me here, hugging me here.

Or that phrase that makes my hair stand on end: “Cheer up!” Cheer up? How does one do that? I pull my spirits up by their suspenders, or what? Really, how can I cheer up, if I feel like I want to die together with the person who is gone? That is the sensation: living death. This is why we need to learn to let each person live their grief as they can, and simply accompany them, in silence. In those moments, the only true consolation is God, if we have faith.

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Grief is as personal and unique as the stars in the firmament. Every loss is unique and worthy of being lived in accordance with our own personal capabilities. Here, the only thing that matters is to live our process of mourning as deeply as we can, always holding God’s hand.

They say that time heals all wounds, but I don’t really agree with that so much. Time teaches us to live with loss, but we can’t speak of healing when the sorrow we feel stems from profound love. Besides, you can only heal what is sick, and love isn’t a disease. Grief born of love doesn’t need to be cured, but lived. In addition, if healing means that I am going to stop missing you and thinking about you, I’d rather not be healed, because you will live as long as your memory lives in me.

Why are we so foolish, not fully enjoying the presence of our loved ones as if today were their last day?

From my heart to yours, L.I.


Choose someone who will be able to speak up on your loved one's behalf and . Saying good-bye to a dying relative or friend — what to talk about, when, and.

how to say goodbye forever to someone you love
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