Parting with someone or something can expose a part of you that you never knew. Which is good, if you continuously want to learn new things about yourself and life. Sad, but good too.
I had to say goodbye to a very good friend today, and from that experience, I learned that I could cry for someone else.
Cry, as in really cry.
Not in the sympathetic way where you cry after watching documentaries about the pitiful state of the world, or feeling helpless when looking at the old beggar or the tortured animal. Not even in the touched way where you cry because someone or something inspired you. But, as in cry because you know you are truly losing something special.
When I was in junior high school, one usual morning assembly, our principal announced a horrible news that one of our schoolteachers died in a car accident. One sob led to another, and by the end of the speech, most of my schoolmates were crying. But, I didn’t cry. Instead I stood stock still and I even had the consciousness to look around me and wonder, “Why is everyone around me crying? Why are my classmates crying? Why am I not crying?” It was not my proudest moment. Since that bizarre moment, I have always thought of myself as an emotionally immature outsider. I know I am not emotionless. I cry almost always (mostly in the sympathetic and touched ways).
But, it is good to know that I can feel deep emotions. That I can actually cry because I am parting with a good friend. Saying goodbye felt really bad, but the knowledge that I can feel a pang of loss gave me some measure of relief.
The thought that “Hey, I am not so disengaged from the world, after all” made me feel more connected to humanity and the world. No longer I feel the acute sensation that I am an outsider looking in. I am an insider.
All this self-reflection came about by a mere separation. Not a depressing reflection too. Parting can be bad, but it is never too bad.