It seems that giving goodbye is something of a theme this past week.

My dog of 13 years passed away last Tuesday, right before I headed out to Hawaii. I spent the five-hour flight between SFO and Maui in tears.

Another Tuesday rolled around and I had to say goodbye to possibly the best group of people I’ve ever met, people who, in the span of a single week, managed to find their way deep into my heart.

And then there was — is — the ever-present knowledge that soon, I’m going to have to say goodbye to my home, both as a place and as a people.

Goodbyes are never easy. Especially when the “next time” is so uncertain.

Especially when it’s something or someone that really matters to you, something or someone you care about so much your heart could literally burst, overflowing with affection.

My heart nearly did burst. I wrote short letters; notes to the people that have become a family. But words could never possibly be enough.

Last night I asked this question: do we keep our memories when we die?

I don’t know the answer. But I hope we do. Because no matter how painful those goodbyes are, I never want to forget the times that preceded them.

And maybe, just maybe… I will meet my fellow journeying souls somewhere far in the future, and then we’ll remember we’ve seen each other before. Sometime, somewhere. And maybe we’ll even remember where.

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