Sample Goodbye Letters

If you are briefly or permanently parting ways, a letter saying goodbye can either strengthen the bond of a relationship that you share . . . or help bring closure.

A goodbye letter is not the place to vent your anger and bottled up emotions or say things that in person you would not.

Respect the recipient's emotions and time. Say what's important and nothing more. Don't say or imply anything unbecoming of you.

Focus on the recipient and their emotions. Step into their shoes and write what you think you'd want to hear if you were them. Ego has no place in a goodbye letter. Be dignified no matter how intimately you know the recipient or how hurtful the parting of ways was.

If you are permanently parting ways, avoid writing an emotionally charged goodbye letter. It may only worsen the situation and it may come back to haunt you.

Focus on the positives about the recipient and the relationship. Be vulnerable. It's okay. Do you remember an episode from your time together that taught you something important? Mention it. Is there something that the recipient did that you found touching? Mention that too.

If the parting of ways was acrimonious, make amends by apologizing and offering a hand of friendship. It takes courage but it is not impossible and the recipient's response may surprise you.

In closing, ask after the recipient's family, friends and/or colleagues, if appropriate.

Sample Goodbye Letter from an Employee to His Boss

Dear [Name],

I'll miss having you as my boss. And I am not saying this to flatter you. I sincerely will.

I don't know if you remember the first day we met. I don't expect you to. It was years ago! I was an awkward rookie and you made me feel welcome, comfortable and confident. In fact, I don't remember ever feeling anything else around you.

You have taught me more than I have learned. And I thank you for that.

You have always treated me as a friend. I hope I have never taken advantage of your generosity.

I have something to ask of you. Would you be kind enough to agree to become my mentor? It will mean the world to me. In return, you can expect me to respect your time and wisdom and give credit where it is due.

If you have any questions regarding my request, please do let me know.

Of course, I remain available to you and will consider it an honor to be called upon to extend a hand.

I wish you and the team all the very best.

Thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

Take care and goodbye.

Sincerely,

 

[Your signature]

[Your name]

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