Never Did Say Good-bye

By khadija ali

As a widowed woman who is ten years out and considers herself a ‘veteran’, I thought I knew all there was to grief.

How arrogant of me.

I had grieved my husband’s death, or so I thought.

I was there when he took his last breath.

I was there when his casket was lowered in the ground.

Settled his estate.

Packed away his clothes.

Sold his car.

Bought jewelry to symbolize my love for him.

Raised his children.

But yet I’d never said good-bye.

I couldn’t bring myself to say it.

And so I apologized for the things I did and said.

I asked for forgiveness.

I forgave.

I wrote letters telling him of new developments. Talked to him about our kids. Asked his advise on life.

I watched for signs and confirmations.

I did all of the above.

But never said good-bye….

And then it came time ten years later to go to grief counseling.

I’d avoided doing this like the plague.

It represented finality, as if his death wasn’t sufficient enough.

But as I sat with my grief counselor last friday afternoon and she asked me what I wanted to end our session with;

I knew….

She asked me if I wanted to participate in a ritual called the ‘cosmic post’.

It was a place to write a letter to your loved one and ‘send it to them’.

A place to let go. Release. Express.

The ONE thing I had not done….

Was close the chapter of our time, our love, our marriage.

But Friday I was ready…

I cried as I sat in the chair writing.

I wrote. And paused. Cried. Released.

Wrote some more…

Tissue, pen, paper and tears.

I love you Ali,

I’ll always love you,

But it’s time.








Khadija Ali is a coach, motivational speaker and author. Her passion for helping women evolve and transform their lives stems from triumphing over tragedy in her own life. In 2007, she found herself a single mom to five children after losing her husband to colon cancer. Overnight, she had to figure out how to settle her husband's estate and find housing for her and her five children. It was a wake up call for this newly widowed woman! In 2012, Khadija asked ten other young widows to write a book about their experiences. Only two widows, Maureen Bobo and Chasity Williams, continued on with the book, "The Unwelcome Committee". The book is not only significant to losing a spouse, but to comprehend and grasp the outlook of grief overall. When Khadija is not coaching, speaking, or writing, she can be found painting, dreaming, and loving again.

9 Comments on Never Did Say Good-bye

  1. Nancy Hubert
    August 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm (4 days ago)

    I immediately identified with your written words (they are beautiful) because of a similar journey. Tears and reaching for a tissue with a deep cry from my heart in feeling the pain of loss is altogether too familiar. I lost my husband to colon cancer in 12/2008 after a 2 1/2 year battle. He was 58. I was 54. I also lost my dad at age 12. He was 37 and that was sudden (massive cerebral hemorrhage due to undetected high blood pressure). The two losses were totally different for me in so many ways. Each one affected me to the core of who I was though. I just found this site today while researching for references for support of widows (as I would like to start a support group for widows either through my church or leave it open to the community). I am trying to put a plan together and gather information. This is a wonderful site. Thank you for all that you are doing!

  2. Sabra
    August 11, 2017 at 6:42 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Ten years out and yet counseling can still be needed. Beautiful …

    • khadija ali
      August 11, 2017 at 8:11 pm (2 weeks ago)

      Indeed Sabra! Thank you for reading!

  3. Julie
    August 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm (2 weeks ago)

    It’s been 14 months and I don’t ever want to say goodbye. :'(

    • khadija ali
      August 11, 2017 at 8:11 pm (2 weeks ago)

      Hugs Julie. It certainly was hard. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  4. Lucy kassim
    August 10, 2017 at 11:48 am (2 weeks ago)

    Oh my God. This is me. I lost my spouse in 2008 to kidney failure,been there done same as you bt I have struggled with saying goodbye. I am unable to.

    • khadija ali
      August 10, 2017 at 7:04 pm (2 weeks ago)

      I’m so sorry for your loss! My husband died from colon cancer in 2007. I will hold space that you find closure. Hugs xoxo

  5. Maureen
    August 9, 2017 at 7:29 pm (2 weeks ago)

    You are so brave to share your story. You’re freeing others who may feel that they aren’t allowed to say goodbye or the time has past. Its never too late to say goodbye…

    • khadija ali
      August 10, 2017 at 7:04 pm (2 weeks ago)

      Thank you so much for reading my story Maureen. You are right; it’s never too late.


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