A word that sounds so final. A word that sounds as if once you say it, its seems as if one’s actions of leaving is permanent. There is no wiggle room and no feeling of see you later.
I wrote my college entry essay about this very idea two years ago, as it was unsure when the next time I was going to see my dad due to finances. In my essay I compared goodbye to the german word for goodbye. It literally means translated “till we see each other again”. Auf Wiedersehen.
I have never been good at saying goodbye. Ever. Even after having to do it for literally my entire life due to the fact that my dad lives in Germany. One would think that after so many years it would get easier becoming more of a routine but it doesn’t. It gets harder because as I get older I realize the unconditional love and how special of a love it is between a parent and a child. It’s forever. And with that, the bond that my dad and I develop gets stronger each year, even through the distance, making it harder to leave.
After saying goodbye for close to 19 years to my dad every summer, I realized that I couldn’t even utter goodbye anymore, just because of the idea of how final it seems. I am already an emotional person and meaning behind things hold great value to me (if you couldn’t already tell through my other posts). I couldn’t let this summer be my last there and for that I knew I had to change the wording of my leaving. Why I only say, Auf Wiedersehen.
Every chapter comes to an end in life, but therefore there are always new beginnings. As each chapter ends there seems to be always a final goodbye and a hello to the new one, but when it comes to saying goodbye to certain things it doesn’t mean you don’t want to see it again, or have it be so final, in which it never has to be, which is why I feel a “see you later” is a more perfect fit than such a final goodbye in situations.
Take hard Aufwidersehen’s as a way that means your life has been granted with something special. If they weren’t that hard, then it would mean it wasn’t something that was meant to be or wasn’t something you consider special. There is a saying that has been circulating around me quiet often recently, and it is: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”.
By adopting this mindset one can understand and grasp the hardship of leaving and closing a chapter. It’s never easy but when is life? It never is. Take a look for what you have and realize it’s truly something ordinary. Regardless what it is.
As my summer is concluding, and I close the chapter to my 2014 summer in Germany, I reflect upon not the negative of the goodbye, the hard part that no one sees. Not the sad part that I will never know when the next time I will see my dad (though hopefully next year due to studying abroad), not the sad part that we won’t be able to do photography together, not the sad part that we won’t be eating our lavish breakfast every Sunday morning or the sad part that we won’t be able to play games.
No. I can’t.
I have to take it that I am so beyond blessed to be able to experience both culture and beyond blessed that Aufwidersehen’s are actually extremely hard and filled with tears, rather than just a concluding hug. I look at everything my dad and I have accomplished due to distance and look at all the laughs and clarity it has brought to my life.
I have faith that it’s never a final goodbye between my dad and I. I refuse to see it that way, which is where I take Auf Wiedershen. If I looked at it as a final goodbye, to be it would be as if I didn’t hold faith for that particular situation. As if I didn’t truly want to believe I would see him again.
And so with that I conclude this post differently today, I dedicated it to my Papa specifically,
Ich liebe dich Papa. Ich vermisse dich schon.