Life Of Pi Offers A Lesson In Saying Goodbye

I read the book, Life Of Pi, a while ago.  But more recently I saw the movie (and the imagery was absolutely breathtaking) and realized at the end that the adult Pi Patel suffered a life of not saying goodbye properly.  He can’t remember saying goodbye to the love of his life as he left India; he lamented not being able to say goodbye to his family before they drowned in a shipwreck (I hope that isn’t a spoiler for those who haven’t read/seen the story) and he is sad that he doesn’t say goodbye to Richard Parker after all they’d been through.

That’s how I feel about this Last Goodbye Letters project and why I am such a proponent for writing to people when you are facing a life changing circumstance–wedding, moving out to go to college, divorce, facing mortality, reinventing yourself, etc.

I quote the author, Yann Martel, as he writes what, I think, is a meaningful part of the story:

“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”

(I hope the author won’t mind this small reprint and I hope Mr. Martel feels this is a tribute to his work.)  In the novel, the author writes what the young Pi Patel would have said if he had the chance of actually saying goodbye.  But I think I will leave that up to you to read for yourself.

Don’t forget to say goodbye to someone you love.  And, if you feel so inclined to share your thoughts, please contact me or send me your letter, your words of goodbye so I can add them to the book for which I am gathering such letters.