This is How We Say Goodbye.

Via Bryonie Wise
on Aug 23, 2013
get elephant's newsletter


“Warriorship is so tender, without skin, without tissue, naked and raw. It is soft and gentle.

You have renounced putting on a new suit of armor. You have renounced growing a thick, hard skin.

You are willing to expose naked flesh, bone, and marrow to the world.”

~ Chögyam Trungpa


 This is for you, my love. 

I’ve been sitting for days, it feels like—weeks, or years, even.

My mat, freshly powered by the full blue moon sits beside me as I work; every time I walk by, I can feel her whisper, It’s time to move. 

Tonight, I could hear her, loud and clear; despite the heavy of my body and the weight of lungs, full of grief and exhaustion—I knew she was right: now was the time to move. 

And so, this moment that I had been anticipating, this moment that I had been avoiding, down to the tear drops I knew would fall the moment I stepped onto her sacred surface, was happening.

I stripped myself bare, down to my flesh and bones and beating heart, and unrolled my mat, turning up my latest musical love affair.

Here I go, I thought. Here I go, on my own, alone—me and my tears.

But they didn’t—the tears, which have been leaving little puddles everywhere I go, didn’t fall from my eyes and my body didn’t crumble to the ground.

Instead, I felt myself swell with strength—my body moved, my breath took over and I could feel myself shed the layers of grief and sorrow that had begun to weigh me down.

I took myself by surprise, of that, there is no doubt. I moved and moved and played with standing on my hands and standing on my head—I could smell my body and watch my rolls as I moved, my eye at first critical and then softening into my marks.

I took myself through backbend after backbend, spending longer and longer each time, begging my lungs to shake themselves free of the quicksand of grief that was clinging on as if it was the end of the world.

The truth of is this is the end of a chapter; the end of my world as I know it and everything is both an ending and a new beginning; it’s terrifying.

I thought that great love, real love, true love, was the kind that would sustain and hold us through every storm that would pass; I thought that what it meant to be in love was to hold on for dear life and to never let go, no matter how violent the waves.

But what I am learning is that even in the goodbye, we can love like the ocean.

And that maybe, this love, the love that starts the process of unwinding two lives, two beating hearts; the love that slowly starts to separate books that have hugged together for some time on the shelves, a thin layer of dust marrying them together; the love that stacks dishes and cutlery that have become the best of friends—the love that talks about where the four-legged beast that I jokingly-but-very-seriously call our kid is going to live, is the biggest love that there is.

Goodbyes, though full of sad nights relearning how to take a starfish shape in the bed at night, of awkward conversations and the random explosion of tears, are when our love shines through in its purest form.

The day I find a new place to lay my head, I will dream of the creak in the stairs and the dance of light through the windows in this old house; I will remember the weight of you sinking into bed beside me, late at night or early in the morning, our four-legged love carving a space for himself between us.

I will remember each moment, for they are imprinted in my heart, that beating, broken, bloody thing in my chest.

I will dream of you happy and free—of your hands in the dirt and your eyes shaped like a camera, a jungle of garden surrounding your silver-headed self.

I think of this all, as I move, slower now and sink deeper, now.

I settle my body into stillness but for a moment; the grief is not gone but the anxiety has lessened enough for me to stop moving and to feel this vibrate through my heart:

We will recover from this, I know; some day soon, I will laugh out loud at more than animals on trampolines—and light will bounce back into your eyes as we speak. Our story will always be ours, and we have learned, through this surreal, foreign land, what love truly is. 

For now, I will learn how to say goodbye in these sweet and sorrowful days, and continue to love as fiercely as the sea.



Like elephant love on Facebook.




About Bryonie Wise

Bryonie’s life is rooted in the belief that when we come from a place of love, anything is possible. When not teaching yoga or writing her heart to the bone, she can be found frolicking in the sunshine with her camera & her dog, Winston, living her yoga. Stay in the loop of all her magical happenings, connect with her on Facebook, TwitterInstagram—& maybe even add her first book, HEART ROAR: A Book of Tiny Prayers to your collection.


76 Responses to “This is How We Say Goodbye.”

  1. Heather says:

    Experiencing this rawness has been one of the hardest things in my life – thank you for so beautifully putting it to words.

  2. Ashley says:

    gorgeous. sending you love, in awe of your wisdom. this too shall pass 🙂

  3. Ashley says:

    sending you love.

  4. lynnola says:

    This is so gorgeous, Bry. I am so sorry for your pain and so breathless for the beauty seeded within it.

  5. Gwen says:

    Beautiful piece of writing. I went through a very painful breakup a number of years ago and took me a few months to realize that what was hurting me the most was trying to stop loving him. When I came to the conclusion that I didn't need to stop, the healing came. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. jaime says:

    i literally lost my breath-this is probably the most amazing article i've ever read. im going through this at the moment which is why it means so much more, but i have read it before all this and it took my breath away all the same. Life is too short to be unhappy, but no one should ever stop loving!

  7. elephantjournal says:

    Thank you. xo

  8. elephantjournal says:

    It's a part of life.

  9. elephantjournal says:

    Thank you xo

  10. elephantjournal says:

    Thanks Ashley xo

  11. elephantjournal says:

    That is the sweetest thing to hear.

  12. elephantjournal says:

    Thank you for reading Kirsty and sharing your thoughts. xo

  13. NLH says:

    I am currently going through this, I keep wondering if I'm giving up to easy, but this just put mt heart somewhat at peace. Thanks for sharing <3

  14. Kevin says:

    Thank you! I have been walking this path for a year and some and have a ways yet to go. My Beloved and I have committed ourselves to loving each other through this Ending/Beginning. It had not been easy but it seems the only way to do it that is true to our hearts. On a day when it has been difficult your words reminded me beautifully. Thank you again.

  15. Dms says:

    Good article. Has anyone noticed the anorexic in the photo? Come on!

  16. Adam says:

    I have read this over, and over, and over again. The pain comes and goes and the strength builds and wanes and the pain comes again. I get on and off my mat over and over and I know we will be OK but the laughter has not come back yet. I will miss her curls, her curves, her bright, blue eyes and her silly puns. What was with all those puns? She is wonderful. I am wonderful.

  17. elephantjournal says:

    Oh, Adam. Thank you for sharing and sending you much love. xo

  18. isabel says:

    i really do love this. so much.
    and it was just what I needed to read in this moment.
    thank you.

  19. elephantjournal says:

    Thank you for reading xo

  20. zondra3triana says:

    i have lived this. most painful thing ever. but the pain is what makes me feel alive

  21. elephantjournal says:

    And the love. xo

  22. Lyndsey says:

    I love the way these words were placed on this page.. You inspire me to get back on the mat after a hard break up. Tonight is the night. Thank you

  23. elephantjournal says:

    Thank you…xo

  24. dayopi says:

    I just let go of someone very special to me yesterday…and it was one of the hardest, most painful things I've ever had to do. Thank you for this; it was a therapeutic cry. Your soul is beautiful. Stay strong and beautiful.

  25. zondra3triana says:

    and the love, yes.. always..

  26. Sandi Esposito says:

    Hi bryonie! After leaving my love of 7 years I feel like I've revovered too quickly. Although, this is the third and final of our breakups, the other two hit me very hard. Now I seem to be crushing any sadness with deep women friendships and parties and lovers (a combo of healthy and unhealthy)… And this fit my theme for the day of allowing myself to be sad again, for lost love and stability and to look fwd to the love (not just fun) that I deserve.