I've said it many times and I'll likely say it many more before it's over: Despite the circumstances, I am still glad to have met you. Most people don't actually say
it to me but they will bounce back when I admit it first: me too. I guess it's usually mutual if it's anything worth mentioning.
You know that it's hard when the only thing keeping you two apart is the circumstance. It kills you to know that it's not you or them, but that horrible bad timing I seemed to be cursed with:
If only you met me at another time.
I wish I had met you sooner.
I will miss you.
If only, if only, if only...
But still you know you meant something, you mattered, you had impact and they heard you and maybe they even think about you now, in passing. You want to be honored that you've impacted someone else, left with a new perspective. You've been someone's memorable 3rd grade teacher, you've become someone's dad.
Being human means that most of the people you reach out for won't be there to reach back, even if contact is what they wanted most in the world. If you stay in one spot, the people leave; if you move around, they still leave. So you can't dwell on it, you can't fulfill your prophecy, you always have to cling to hope that it won't always be this way. You have to become a pro at saying goodbye with grace and knowing when to let go, when to hold on and when to call it quits. The added irony is that when you finally realize how to do this, you don't need to use it as much, and until then you're just stumbling in the dark.