It is strange isn’t it? That sometimes you never see the goodbye coming. You are totally oblivious of the ‘end’ that is about to happen. Just two days ago you were laughing loudly across the hall with your work mate and today they are fired out of the blue. A few chats back, you were having a late night conversation with a dear friend and now they are no longer in your life. Your relative sends you a forward message on WhatsApp and the next day they die. Sometimes you can’t even remember what exactly happened. You can’t exactly remember what that laugh was about or what that late night conversation entailed. You can’t remember if your relative was sick in the first place. You just didn’t know that would be the last time you’d hear from them. Sometimes death is what separates us but sometimes, it is nothing like that. We got busy. We held grudges. We went to another town. We got other responsibilities. We had children. We formed new friendships. We changed jobs. We grew. We changed. It is but life they say…

For some of us, goodbyes hit us harder than the rest. We want to understand why it happened, what better could we have done for them, what mistakes we did towards them. Letting go is an art and it is definitely one that’s not very easy to master. There are some things we can never control and the staying and departure of our loved ones is one of them. You can do whatever you want; be the best human being on earth, sweetest Cherry ever, yet you are still going to lose some people in your life. There is no magic trick for this. We ought to accept that so as to have solace. Nonetheless, there are some things we can do for our own sake in order to live a peaceful life.

1. Always have it at the back of your mind that this life is temporary. You. Your loved ones. The people and everything in it. This includes both the good and bad moments. You are definitely going to be separated from them one way or another. Whether you like it or not. This doesn’t mean that you live your entire life waiting for this heart-breaking moment to happen, but you live each day to your best ability with those you care about, knowing very well that nothing lasts forever. One day we are here, the next we are not. We might as well make the best use of TODAY.

2. Be kind. Always. Now that we already know how temporary life is, that means we also accept the uncertainty that comes with it. You just never know when would be the last time. For you. For others. For you and others. So be kind to yourself and others always. Treat them with compassion like it is their last day with you (because it could very well be?) or their very last day on this earth. Be there for them. Love them. Support them. APPRECIATE them. Be at your best so long as it doesn’t be at the cost of your own well-being.

3. There are some people you will have to unapologetically cut off. As much as kindness is divine, it doesn’t mean we allow other people to step on us or take advantage. Make sure you are keen enough to see who genuinely means well and who is being toxic to you. And sometimes toxicity is so subtle we don’t even realize how we are being affected negatively by the people we are around. Whether it is friends who only use us. Or people with no goals whatsoever in life. Or those with a negative mindset ALWAYS (We all have phases we feel negative). Or those who are always gossiping and their noses in other people’s business. Look carefully at the people in your life and screen them. Are these the people I REALLY want to be around??!

4. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive. There is something so refreshing about forgiveness. Trust me as I say this because as a very anxious person, conflicts have always affected me in a huge way. But the moment I was able to genuinely forgive MYSELF first and those who wronged me, I realized that there is no more refreshing feeling in this world than being able to forgive. It makes you feel invincible. It makes you feel in power. It is you telling the world that despite what you throw at me, I’ll never let you ruin me. And forgiving those who hurt you and left your life doesn’t necessarily mean you have to keep in touch with them or stay friends with them. It just means you are at peace with yourself and them despite the circumstances that led to the goodbye.

5. Pray. For yourself and your loved ones. Never underestimate what prayer does. Pray for the people you care about and the same will be granted to you. Pray for their peace. For their health. For their well-being. For their success. For your relationship with them. Even after you’ve parted ways and life has driven you far away, pray for each other. Because perhaps we can’t control what life brings or takes, but we can control what we do before and after that.

This life is simple yet very complicated. They say, it is what you make out of it. No human being can be positive 24/7 for their entire lifetime but that shouldn’t make us drown in our miseries and difficulties. We have to work on ourselves to ensure that we are always growing, always a ‘work-in-progress’, always making lemonade from the lemons…always learning to be the best version of ourselves…

The books are available at the following location: IOU centre, Chetna Restaurant, 2nd floor. Along Haile Sellasie Road (Ahead of Oil Libya petrol station and just before Royal Court hotel) Contact: 0770 136 463/0770 630 997. In Nairobi, we have some few copies available with Ahmed: 0718 232 852

A freelance writer, journalist, poet and blogger venturing mainly in social and community issues, study and analysis of behaviour and life, and the plight of the under-dogs in the society. 'I feed on human stories.'

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