We Don’t Say Goodbye Anymore

As I was watching an interview with a congressman about her experience on January 6, I realized at the end of the conversation she said, “Stay safe. be well.” I’ve heard that sign off dozens of times over the past year. I’ve ended conversations or emails with the same sentiment.

We don’t say goodbye anymore.

Whether intentional or not, the events of the past year have changed the way that we communicate with each other. These are things that we aren’t expressing because of the tension and conflict of this historic time. I can’t help but wonder if it’s also because so many of us have had to say goodbye to loved ones during this time in ways that we never imagined we would have to, over Facetime or tuning into a memorial service over Zoom.

We don’t say see you soon either.

With the way every day changes with historic events, daily case number counts, positivity rate reports, and sign-ups for vaccinations being released slowly, we can’t say that we will see each other soon because we simply don’t know when it will be safe to see each other again. We don’t know when we will see each other and so this phrase has slowly slipped from our conversations.

Be safe. Be well.

These are the phrases we are clinging to in the midst of this historic time. And in these words are hope. Hope that we will be able to stay safe when our safety has been put into question. Hope that we will be able to be well when we are living each day in an unstoppable spread of a virus that is now introducing new strands.

Be safe. Be well. Cling to hope and watch for the whisperings of the Divine at work.