Billy Joel and Saying Goodbye…


Lately I have been playing a lot of Billy Joel songs. I don’t play music very often but sometimes it is a necessity. Sometimes life needs a soundtrack. Billy Joel’s music is like sitting and visiting with an old friend. In the song Say Goodbye to Hollywood we hear,

So many faces in and out of my life
Some will last
Some will just be now and then
Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes
I’m afraid it’s time for goodbye again

This seems to be especially true for myself and my family in recent years, more so the last several months. Some of the goodbyes were expected and although we hoped against them, they still came. Some were harder than others but each hello and goodbye always comes with a bitter sweetness. The hellos are sweet for obvious reasons and bitter because you think to yourself, “well, how long will you be here?” The goodbyes bitter for obvious reasons and sweet because you can say to yourself, “I am so glad I met this person and they are a part of my life.”

One of the hardest aspects of goodbyes is having to face up to the regrets one now has with a relationship changing so drastically. The missed opportunities to be kind, laugh together, to extend that dinner invitation, to share more of one’s life and receive more of the other’s. All the things left unsaid.

What we have learned from all of the hellos and goodbyes is that it is always best to live in the moment and be present to everyone we encounter. Love those who cross our path even if we know pain will be inevitable as we have to say goodbye. There are no guarantees in life for any of us anyway, today could be anyone’s last. Love, share, go the extra mile. Invite your friend over even if you think you’re too busy or the house is too messy, or the meal will not be the best. Laugh and drink together, let the walls down. Share those stories you know will help someone, don’t be afraid of rejection. Don’t worry about people thinking you’re a fool. Love fearlessly, be a source of joy and love for people you meet.

Sadness and a heavy heart comes with saying goodbye to those we truly love but that heaviness is indeed made worse by thinking of those missed opportunities. Manny and I have talked about this a lot lately. I hope these lessons learned actually make us change in the future. Watching our children learn these lessons has added to our own sadness but seeing them still genuinely love people also gives us hope.

For now, loving people in prayer is the best thing and greatest gift we have to give and receive. In Christ we are always united–there are no goodbyes; and that is a great comfort.




  1. I have had two losses of friends lately –one who moved away and one who died unexpectedly. It has been hard but your post reminds me that we are all passing through and that we need to enjoy the moment! Several years ago, I bought a copy of a 7th Century Icon, Christ the True Friend (Monastery Icons), It is Coptic and the original is in the Louvre. It is a picture of two 7th Century figures– Jesus and St. Mina, standing like two buddies with their arms on each other shoulders. I always think that is how Jesus (Our Buddy) is with us! He is our true friend and the constant throughout our lives.

    • Rema,

      I’m sorry for the loss of your friend.
      Thankfully we know death does not have the final word and we will see our loved ones again.

      Thanks for sharing the icon, it’s a nice one.

      God bless,


  2. I’ve had to learn this, too, through drastically relocating. Thank you for this.

  3. Marie Philomena says:

    This was an encouraging post. It came at just the right time for me. Thank you!
    God bless you and your family
    Marie Philomena

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: