"Christians never say goodbye!"
. . . or so said the Christian thinker and writer C. S. Lewis, in his final parting from his friend Sheldon Vanauken.
Other Christians, however, take a different position:
Avoiding goodbye when we have to move and face the prospect, in some cases, of never seeing each other again in this life denies the importance of our bodily life together. Brushing over "farewell" denies that the pain of separation is real - that no matter how many texts or phone calls or Facebook updates we share, we won't be available for each other in the same way anymore.This is true. Some dear friends we will never see again. As Mattie put it in True Grit, "Time just gets away from us."
One Christian who understood this better than most was pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Separated from his friends and family when he was arrested during World War II, Bonhoeffer wrote, "[T]here is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so; one must simply persevere and endure it." (Wesley Hill, "Saying Goodbye for Good," Christianity Today, October 31, 2014)