Farewell – a word that immediately carries a whole host of emotions with it. It echoes deep in the soul and carries many suitcases full of memories. Usually, they are profound – rarely fleeting. They leave a lot behind and hardly need words.
I’ve been thinking about that word. What triggers the word “goodbye” in me? Is it about people who had a constant part in my life and disappeared for different reasons? Or does the farewell also symbolize objects, possessions? Farewell to your favorite jeans or your shoes that had to go to the garbage? Isn’t it also a matter of tasks that I had cheerfully put off in front of me and whose completion was too tricky for entirely different reasons? And when the sudden jolt was there, and it was somehow managed, with effort and a lot of motivation – isn’t it also something that the word goodbye says? Every dream, because the still childlike soul had spun and which over the years has been transformed into strange worlds? Is it not also these farewells of loved ones whose parting will be without return?
My first memory comes from the time I attended kindergarten. There an early, tender friendship to a girl developed. She even had the same first name as me. Not only in kindergarten did we sit together a lot. We also spent the afternoon together. At some point, she moved away. Something was missing in kindergarten. Something was missing in the afternoons. This gap, which a person can leave behind, was the first experience at my age of 4-5 years.
The next goodbye I remember was when we moved. I missed my old elementary school, the teacher, the faces… In the evening I lay in bed and imagined what it would be like if I could have turned back the time. They were people I had shared something with for years. They had shared something with me, and suddenly it was gone. New people moved into everyday life, and I didn’t know how to deal with them. They were a stranger to me, and they weren’t quite all right. And worse yet – they were strange and utterly different to me. I discovered qualities that were alien to me.
Again, and again people came into my life. Whether on holiday or in leisure time – whether at school or at home. Some encounters remained unique and were forgotten again – others still stick today like old plaster. Time is only a marginal figure. Farewells fill and empty our soul at the same time. We hug the goodbye reluctantly – we prefer not to let it into our lives. It can hurt deeply or walk paths of infinity. In the course of the next years so many farewells followed – an unbelievable multiplicity, with which the individual suddenly becomes mute and can only lift the hand from those waves from time to time. Even today I am still grudgingly postponing some tasks, and when courage and motivation have over hasted me, I celebrate my farewell. Farewell to my unwillingness, my own lethargy. The older I get, the clearer I understand what a farewell will do to us. In between, there are also partnerships – the people who became very close to you. They were often closer to you than you could ever be to yourself.
Goodbye – it’s not just a word. Farewell is something that remains without questions and answers. At some point, you stand alone and wave to the memories. Cheerful and sad at the same time, but you know it has to be that way.
Nicole Frischlich was born and raised in the region of the German Ruhr area. She began her first professional steps in the travel and tourism industry, before she was 30 years old, starting her own business. Photography has accompanied her throughout her entire life, as well as writing poetry and stories – preferably in combined form. Since 2018 she has lived in a small dwelling mound village on the North Sea coast and works as a freelance journalist for the Emder Zeitung alongside her commercial work (Giclee printing).