Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. ~Richard Bach, Illusions, 1977
Let me kiss off that falling Tear,
We only part to meet again.
~John Gay (1685–1732), “Black-ey’d Susan”
Kindred hearts no distance parts. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897
Men’s feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and of farewell; like the glaciers, which are transparent and rosy-hued only at sunrise and sunset… ~Johann Paul Friedrich Richter (1763–1825)
Why does it take a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye? ~Author unknown
Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together forever? Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. And then we have to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes… You know what I need? I need more hellos. ~Charles M. Schulz, Snoopy, Come Home, 1972
Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes. ~Henry David Thoreau, letter to Lidian Jackson Emerson, 1843 May 22nd
Sweet… is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow ray of a departing sun, it falls tenderly yet sadly on the heart. ~Washington Irving, William Irving, & James Kirke Paulding, Salmagundi, 1807
Gone, and the light gone with her and left me in shadow here!
Gone — flitted away,
Taken the stars from the night and the sun from the day!
Gone, and a cloud in my heart, and storm in the air!
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Window: Or, The Songs of the Wrens,” 1870, written for the music of Arthur Sullivan
How lucky I am to have known somebody, something, that saying goodbye to is so damned awful. ~The Other Side of the Mountain, 1975, screenplay by David Seltzer, based on the book A Long Way Up: The Story of Jill Kinmont by Evans G. Valens, 1966
The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning. ~Ivy Baker Priest (1905–1975), unverified
Excuse me, then. You know my heart.
But dearest friends, alas! must part.
~John Gay (1685–1732), “The Hare and Many Friends”
To Die and Part
Is a less Evil — But to Part and Live
There, there’s the Torment…
~George Granville, Lord Lansdowne (1666–1735), Heroick Love, 1698
Be well. Do good work. And keep in touch.® ~Garrison Keillor, The Writer’s Almanac (radio), 1993
And ’t is a strange truth that only in the agony of parting we look into the depths of love. ~George Eliot, Felix Holt, 1866
The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. ~Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook, 1996
You and I will meet again
When we’re least expecting it
One day in some far off place
I will recognize your face
I won’t say goodbye my friend
For you and I will meet again…
I don’t know how, I don’t know when
But you and I will meet again
~Tom Petty, “You and I Will Meet Again,” Into the Great Wide Open, 1991, performed by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
That Love’s a bitter-sweet, I ne’er conceive,
Till the sour minute comes of taking leave,
And then I taste it. But as Men drink up
In haste the bottom of a med’cin’d cup,
And take some syrup after; so do I,
To put all relish from my memory
Of parting, drown it, in the hope to meet
Shortly again, and make our absence sweet…
~Ben Jonson (1572–1637), an elegy, Under-woods
Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same. ~Flavia Weedn, Forever, © Flavia.com
So sweetly she bade me adieu,
I thought that she bade me return.
~William Shenstone, “Absence,” 1743
Love reckons hours for months, and days for years:
And every little absence is an age.
~John Dryden, Amphitryon, 1690
Deep in our hearts we know that the best things said come last. People will talk for hours, saying nothing much, and then linger at the door with words that come with a rush from the heart. ~Alan Alda, commencement address at his daughter Eve’s graduation, Connecticut College, 1980
How can there be any sin in sincere
Where is the good in goodbye?…
Tell me what can be fair in farewell, dear
While one single star shines above
How can there be any sin in sincere?
Aren’t we sincerely in love?
Oh, we’re in love!
~Meredith Willson, “Sincere,” The Music Man, 1957 ♫
Every parting is a form of death — as every reunion is a type of heaven. ~Amelia B. Edwards, My Brother’s Wife, 1855
What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a
Farewell, my dearest sister, fare thee well:
The elements be kind to thee, and make
Thy spirits all of comfort! fare thee well.
~William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, c.1606 [III, 2, Octavius]
If I had a single flower for every time I think of you, I could walk forever in my garden. ~Claudia Adrienne Grandi
Quotations for Goodbyes
Original post date: 2005 Sept 23
1st major revision: 2018 Sept 18