The Good in Goodbye

It confounds me
how many times I’ve said
goodbye in my life  
and still —
I’d rather die
every time I’m forced to
step forward into its
foreboding, skittery dance.
This treacherous ordeal of
saying farewell,
this naked confession of
emotional servitude
to my past,
to how mindlessly I've
let myself become
so damn attached.
But over time,
I inch forward, toward the
insight that saying goodbye
is itself an opportunity,
a stunning privilege, in fact —
presented to all of us
in these squirming moments
before we jump naked
into the next chapter
of ourselves.
Just think of the many 
to whom this privilege
is suddenly and devastatingly 
snatched away —
my oh my oh my
to say goodbye
as painful as it can be
is itself a grateful act of
an oath to the aching
passage of time
a past that has passed, sure
but also, an invitation —
a knock on an
iridescent new doorway,
a prelude to a hopeful new you
who, if lucky, will go on
to bid yet another adieu,
and another,
over and over and over again,
each one a dress rehearsal 
for that heartbreaking
final number —
the most precious
goodbye of all.