Learning How to Say Goodbye

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    As Mitch learns in his time with Morrie, letting someone go is one of the hardest things to do. How have you learned to let go?


    My brother in law is 47 and has ALS.
    We are trying to find some peace with the fact he is failing at such a rapid pace.
    Making matters worse, he has only one child, who is severely autistic.
    His son is 21, nonverbal, and can be very aggresive.
    He gets extremely frustrated locked in a body he cannot control, unable to speak or connect.
    Soon his father will also be locked in a body he cannot control, unable to speak.
    I know there is a life lesson here that will bring me some peace, but like autism, I feel I’m missing a few pieces to the puzzle.
    Having re-read Tuesdays With Morrie, I think maybe the lesson is how to say goodbye.
    Acceptance and love must be the answers.
    Thanks Morrie, you certainly were “A Teacher to the Last.”
    Thanks to Mitch Albom, you continue to do so.

    Has anyone else had any moments of clarity in saying goodbye?


    I believe you are right, Manya, acceptance and love definitely have something to do with it.
    Forgiveness too.
    For me, it is forgiveness of myself.
    Before my gran died of cancer, I never really appreicated her, I never told her I loved her, I just took and never gave back.
    Now that she’s dead, the guilt I felt lived on for at least four years.
    My life has reached a turning point this year, and I have discovered a lot of things; love, knowledge, people and good books that have taught me to accept and to forgive myself.
    I have now said goodbye to my gran, and I know that she forgives me, even though I would love to hear her say it herself.


    Dear Manya,
    I am 42 years old. Though I dont have ALS, I have APLS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome)which causes me to have strokes on a consistent basis. I have Lupus, Rhuematoid Arthritis, Pacer, stents in futile attempts to protect what is left of my working organs ( not many as most have been removed) I have grand mal seizures, and several times have no use of parts of my body and cannot verbalize or move some of my limbs. I know how frustrated your brother feels believe me. Its because it really is dehumanizing to us, well I can only speak for myself here. I use to function on my own and each day I find pieces of me I have to leave behind, its almost like I lost my “sense of purpose” for being here at times, so that’s the frustration we feel. I don’t think there is ever is a way to learn to say goodbye. I had to teach my daughters when they were 5 and 8 that Mommy might “fall down” and not get up. What child can comprehend that ? Our biggest fears are for you our families, not for us. I think those of us with illness have honestly gotten really good at “dealing” with pain in front of others, but mostly for their sake, but i know myself, like Morrie , cry at night, when no one sees. Why make anyone else miserable is our thought. Leaving yourself behind a little piece at a time each and every day sometimes seems hardly worth fighting to move forward for, thus that frustration will shine thru regardless.
    Honestly, as ready as I am at times to say goodbye, though we have no choice in these cases, our hearts are never ready.


    Jslearl & jatachyheart-
    Thank you both for your honest and kind words.
    Talking and connecting with one another helps.
    I wish you both peace & love.
    And as we know, in the end-
    Love Is All That Matters.

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