Have you ever had to say goodbye to someone you loved?
Not because of death, or a move across the country, or even because they betrayed you or broke your trust past the point of no return, but because you could no longer continue down the same path together, and saying goodbye seemed to be the only way to move forward?
Maybe it was a friend
Or a family member.
Maybe it was a lover.
Whoever it was, at some point you realized that loving someone doesn't mean you can have them in your life, and loving them doesn't mean you can make it work, and loving them doesn't mean you can be together.
You realize that maybe in this case, loving them meant letting them go.
So you did.
You said your goodbyes, and you cried, and then you tried to force a smile, hold your chin up high and walked away.
But you kept looking back.
A glance over your shoulder for every step you took, watching them wave, getting smaller in the rear view, and your heart ached, so heavy and full of longing that it's making your steps harder and harder, like you're trudging through knee deep snow.
The hardest goodbyes are the ones we say to the people we still love.
The people we want to lock ourselves up in a room with forever, so the real world never has to intervene and reality never has to set in, and we can just stay there with them forever.
The hardest goodbyes are the ones we say to the people who made us whole, who reflected back at us the things we always thought no one would understand, the people who spoke the language that we believed existed only in our own minds, our own hearts.
We say goodbye, and we hope against hope, hope against logic, hope against rationality and right or wrong, that the Universe brings them back.
Someday, somehow, they come sailing back into our lives and light up everything they touch, like they always did.
Light up the small and unseen parts of ourselves, that only they were special enough to truly touch.
We hope, and we wait, and we keep them in our hearts, just in case that's the only place we can ever find them after that.