No one wants to do it because no one likes to do it. It’s one of the the worst things in the world, actually. The thought of losing someone, and not having them in  your life for the next few years, is not a fun one to ponder. But it happens. All the time. With every new stage of our lives, we usually find ourselves having to say goodbye to someone. So the question is, what’s the best way to do it?

How do you spend the last few weeks leading up to the last day? How do you spend the last few days with them? How do you want to spend the last night together? Who do you want to spend it with, and how do you want the mood of the night to go?

For Paul, he wanted to spend the last night before flying out for the Peace Corps, with his girlfriend Maggie, and a couple of his closest friends, at his house in Hillsborough. Luckily we got all the drinking out the night (and multiple weekends) before, so we could just spend this night playing a game of MadGab (hilarious) and a new superlative game (also hilarious, and just another one of Paul’s games). And then capping the night off with some good conversation around a bonfire. We passed the time by making fun of each other and reminiscing about embarrassing and funny times spent in college. The weekends leading up to this night (pretty much every weekend since New Years), we’ve been making sure to live it up with as many friends as possible in hopes of distracting ourselves from the inevitable truth. But this last night, was all about reflecting on the good times with each other, and not being afraid to get a little sentimental. There were points of the night where we got cramps in our stomachs from laughing so much, and then there were those short pauses of silences and a few teary eyes.

In my opinion, it was the perfect way to go out. It was good closure to the past 5 years, and it was a good way to keep Paul’s mind off of the stresses of what’s to come. It was comforting to bring up embarrassing memories, and the awkward freshmen year stories, and to see how through it all, we’ve all stayed friends….and have gotten closer because of it all. And this last year…especially these last few months, I feel like we’ve been on such a high and that everyone’s gotten a lot closer than before. We ended on a high note, that’s for sure. And to me, that’s the ideal way.

Then as 1am rolled around, one by one we started saying our goodbyes. And like I said, it sucked. What are you supposed to say in your last few minutes with someone you call your best friend, before they head out for 2.5 years? How can you get out all of what you’re feeling right then and there? You want to say everything, but can’t seem to fight back the tears long enough to tell it the way you want. But in the end, it doesn’t matter what you say. Because the past 5 years speak for themselves. All the ups and downs you had together, all the fun times and hard times you shared together, and the fact that you’re standing next to each other through it all, says it all.

Saying goodbye sucks. But like my friend Brad said, “How lucky am i to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?”

Pretty dang lucky.