I wanted to make this a language post where the English word meant goodbye, but I couldn’t think of the right word. In Danish class we learned to ways of saying goodbye. “Vi ses” means “see you (later),” which is a problem because, for most people I am saying goodbye to now, that just isn’t true. The other option was “hej hej,” meaning “bye bye”. That is accurate, but the bouncy words don’t exactly fit what the mood should be. So I I wen’t with “farvel,” or in English, simply “goodbye.”
I’m not good at goodbyes. I’ve never really done them much. Yes, I have said the words before. I say it almost everyday in one form or another to at least one person. But I have never really said goodbye before. By that I mean that I have never looked into the eyes of someone that I have grown close to, realized that I will most likely never have that same view again, and said “I hope the rest of your life goes well. I’m glad I got to share this little bit of it,” because that is what goodbye really means.
Sometimes I wish that all of my friends that I made her in Denmark were Danish, because, as strange as it seems, it would probably be more likely that I would see them again. If they were all Danish then I would know where to find them and could come visit all at once. Or they could come visit me with one of their 30 annual vacation days (Danish labor policy joke! Zing!). But really, the chances of me travelling to all of the places that I would need in order to visit everyone is just too low. I would like to, but we will see what happens.
Sometimes avoiding goodbyes is easier than actually saying them. So I have been doing some of that too. It’s pretty familiar since before goodbye has always been so temporary I often felt like it wasn’t worth doing. Now I avoid it because of how permanent it is. Despite my attempts to avoid it I still say goodbyes. Sometimes my mind tricks me into thinking I’m saying “vi ses,” or at least “hej hej,” and not “farvel.”
I start packing tomorrow. I am going to miss everybody and I am going to miss this country. Denmark, I hope that when I step foot on that airplane on Monday that is goodbye, and not goodbye. And as for everyone I’ve met, well, I hope the same thing, but if not, then I hope that the rest of your life goes well, and thank you for sharing this little bit with me.