I know, hilariously tacky title! Was trying to come up with a synonym for post-mortem and then suddenly this cheesy track from Music and Lyrics popped up in my mind. And somehow, it seemed pretty apt-corny, but apt.
I read someplace that a man never knows how to say goodbye and a woman never knows when, or maybe it was the other way round. Either way, the fact remains that there is no “good” in goodbyes. They are painful, gut-wrenching and about as close to hell as we will ever come. They can also bear a promise of heaven, with the pure ecstasy of a reunion after a long time spent apart. But then, it wasn’t a real goodbye, was it?
So when and how do we say bye? I think we say it when there is no expectation left from the others, when all our efforts to desperately cling on to the receding vestiges of a memorable past are snatched away from us. And we say it by appreciating what we had and acknowledging how special we felt in that time.
One of Alexander the Great’s most worthy successors was his friend Ptolemy, who gained control of his body and catafalque and used it to rise to become Pharaoh of Egypt. A learned man and a man of letters as he was, he later wrote that with Alexander, the greatest bequeath was not his immense wealth or the vast dominions he left behind. It was the way he made people feel. Ironically, Alexander has been riled as one of the most ruthless conquerors of all time, savage and brutal. Yet, history stands testament to the fact that although possessed with a foul temper, he could make those around him feel very special, very cherished. Ptolemy says that although he did so in a very awkward and eccentric manner, when you were with Alexander, you felt powerful, invincible and unconquerable. No challenge seemed too daunting, no sacrifice too demanding. The world was your oyster and you were the masters of your destiny. And it was this legacy that propelled him towards the supremacy of much of the known world, with even the mighty Persian Empire crumbling under the relentless march of his ardent followers. The legacy which endears him to us and helps us overlook his unyielding ambitions and his rage.
And that is how we say goodbye.