“The Last Time We Say Good Bye” is what it says on the cover. This book is written by Cynthia Hand and honestly, a few days ago, I thought that it is one of my accidental books. I call them that because my “accidental books” are books I did not plan to buy, or books I just took off the shelf from the bookstore, paid and never read but guess what? I finished reading the book in three days because I felt like there was something connecting me and the book. It was deep. It was personal.
So the story is about Lexie Riggs, a girl who lost her brother to suicide. I thought I loved the book because it talks about mental health awareness and I have a special bond with topics like these, but surely, I believed there was something else. I just can’t seem to put the book down. Reading through, I was able to feel what Lexie feels, the pain that is caused by death of someone you love a lot. The pain that is caused by the guilt of not being able to say goodbye to someone important because you never knew when was the last time you’d say goodbye. I thought that was it.
The book was lovely written, and I love how it depicts the agony and heartbreak someone who experienced the death of a loved one goes through. It was a beautiful kind of pain. One that makes you realize a lot of things, and makes you regret a lot of things, too. It was reality. It was my reality, written beautifully in one book.
I just recently lost a loved one, but not through suicide. My grandfather died the natural death, he lost the battle to cardiac arrest and I wasn’t there when he took his last breath. It was painful, and it made me feel sad and angry and secured and a mix of emotions I never thought can be felt at the same time, all at once. I found it hard to let go, to accept the fact that he isn’t with us anymore. I was in denial and I was Lexie in the book. I had questions. I wanted to talk to my grandfather so bad. I talk to him but he doesn’t answer, because he won’t, I know. Because he shouldn’t. And that is where I realized, that it wasn’t an accident I bought the book. It actually helped me realized that I must let go of what I am holding on to, and that my grandfather is gone, and he’ll never be ~physically~ back and that’s okay.
You know what’s weird and maybe coincidental? Lexie’s brother was named “Tyler” and his nickname is “Ty”. I call my grandfather Tatay, thus, Tay. It felt like every quote was addressed to me. And the ending of the book just left me shookt. Below is the photo.
This is how I used to say goodbye to my grandfather. I kiss him, and say “Bye, Tay”. And that is how the book ended. What are the chances, right?
I realized through the book that it’s okay to cry, and to feel like life is falling apart. I realized through the book that surrendering a loved one who passed away to the Higher Being is the best way to start healing, and through the book too, I decided that I am letting go of my grandfather, and I am moving forward just as how Lexie must have done, just as how Mama Riggs’ placed Tyler in His hand.
I’d give the book a 5 out of 5, if I needed to rate it. But more than that, the book have already established a deeper connection with me, and I’ll always remember it as the book that helped me heal.