Posted by: Kara Luker | March 3, 2020

A goodbye

I’m taking a memoir writing workshop at a local library and was given the homework of writing a single page about a time I said goodbye to someone (or something). I’m not sure if this is my final version, but it’s probably pretty close. The nerve wracking part is that, though not required, we are asked to read our writing aloud to the rest of the class. So I’m practicing with you, my safe people, and including an audio of the post in case you want to listen instead of read. As always, thanks for reading! (Or listening!)

You were never my friend. In the true sense, anyway. Someone who had my back, who would sacrifice for my good. So why was it so hard to say goodbye?

We’d done life together for so long, I couldn’t remember a time we hadn’t been connected at the hip; bonded like kindred spirits; inseparable, really. I relied on your perspective and believed the way you framed each situation. You had my best at heart, you said, sparing me the humiliation of being myself: uncovered, unedited, unwanted. That would never do. Because I wasn’t enough and I never would be. It wasn’t a judgment; just a fact. You were simply keeping me from further failure; public failure. 

Your misguided wisdom nearly cost me my life, you know. Did you even once lift a finger to ease my pain? Did you comfort me in my blackest moments of torment and fear? You didn’t even care about the overdose, did you? No, you made me think it would have been better if I had died. Self-hatred: Saying goodbye to you was the best thing I ever did. 

Oh yes, it was tenuous at first. I felt hollow without you; untethered; without identity. I’d often let you right back in when you came around hoping to regain my trust, detailing my every offense so I could intimately feel the shame and once again lean into you. It was convincing, no doubt. Far more than the feeble evidence I’d gathered in my defense; a single truth that I feared would collapse beneath the weight of my guilt. But that truth, a new friend, proved itself stronger than even the most virulent accusations you could bring against me. 

It was love. Redemptive love. A friend that covered my failures instead of exposing them. Not looking down on me from the edge of my pit, shaming me for being there without lending a hand to help, but entering in with me, filling the cold, lonely places with the warm breath of compassion, with the quiet voice of hope. Imparting truth that at first I didn’t believe; I couldn’t believe. I am loved. I belong. I have purpose. But as I was led, hand in hand, through the tormented darkness into the freedom of light, my heart came to know His truth; found rest in this redeemed identity I could only once have dreamed of. Not because I’d gotten it right, like you said I had to, but because the failures you’d used to condemn me were transformed into things of life and beauty, like a phoenix from the ashes, settling once and for all the case for my shame; rendering all evidence irrelevant. And now I know that there is no depth of pain or shame that He is not willing to go deeper yet, to lay His life down to lead me out. Who could stand in the presence of this Love, at once so gentle and so powerful, and not be changed? And not bid farewell to anything less? Not I.

Of course you still swing by, trying to garner an invitation back into my home, or stand by my open window, calling; hoping that I’ll listen, if only for a moment, and be lured back. But it’s not gonna happen. Because you’re not my friend and you never were. I can see that clearly now.

Self-hatred, I’m glad I said goodbye. Can’t say I’m gonna miss you.

See ya


  1. Glad you are getting more training, Kara. You’ve got what it takes. More training will only make you stronger!! Paul


    • Thanks Paul! The workshop has a great teacher and I think I will get a lot out of it.

  2. Kara:

    How is your father’s health? Is he able to do writing? Sure want him to finish his book.



    • I think he has been taking some notes for a book but don’t think he’s been feeling well enough to do any writing.

  3. Beautiful. I seriously have the chills Kara. I hope you will share this tonight! ♥️

    • Thank you so much, Terry! Hopefully I’ll have the courage the share 😊

  4. Wow, Kari,

    You’re writing in the big league and hitting home runs.

    On Tue, Mar 3, 2020 at 1:07 PM where waves grow sweet wrote:

    > karanoel posted: “I’m taking a memoir writing workshop at a local library > and was given the homework of writing a single page about a time we said > goodbye to someone (or something). I’m not sure if this is my final > version, but it’s probably pretty close. The nerve wrackin” >

    • That was a wonderful vote of confidence before I read it to the group last night! Thank you!

  5. That piece was very powerful. Once read, it stays with me.

    • Thank you Jan!

  6. So powerful. So Beautiful. I love the depth with with you write. So moving. So genuine, as only someone who has walked these roads can be. 💫👏🏼🙌😇👌

    • Thank you Tara! I know you’ve walked some hard roads too and love the beauty that’s grown in your heart on the journey. Sure do love you!

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