I was speaking with a friend who told me that he had written his mother a goodbye letter and gave it to her on her birthday a couple of months ago. He said that he was unable to say in person to her all the things that he was able, over some time, to put down in writing on paper. This man told me that his mother just passed away, but before she died, he had a chance to be with her. And, surprise! She mentioned reading the letter in which he had poured out his love and appreciation for all she had done for him growing up and as an adult.
My friend described his mother as “a fairly stoic woman.” And, apparently the extent of their discussion about his letter was her comment, “Well, I’m glad you feel that way.”
As I mention in my How To Write Your Own Last Goodbye Letter, you can’t choreograph or predict how someone will respond to your letter. My own father didn’t even discuss it with me–it was just too emotional.
But it doesn’t matter whether you discuss it. My friend felt happy that he had made the effort to let her know his feelings. And, it mattered to him that he had written it and that he knew she received it.
Write your own goodbye letter today! To your parent, to your child going off to college, to your loved one being deployed, to yourself as you turn over a new leaf.