Goodbyes are definitely the hardest part of any friendship.
I can always feel a hard goodbye coming on. Someone who is dreading a goodbye always starts to remember things out loud. They'll make more of an effort to say hi and spend a few more minutes with you when they might not have. They'll be more generous and all-around friendly, not that they weren't before but it will seem like they are trying to fit in every good thing they can do to their friends because they may not get another chance.
Well, I try to make them feel special. Because really, the greatest fear of anyone saying goodbye is that they will be forgotten. That's what my Mom's greatest fear when she died: that we would forget her. So I make sure they know they won't be forgotten. I try, anyway. Throw a party for them...give them a card. Something.
I like to think I'm good at finding the right things to say to make it better. There is a phrase I like that goes "No two christians say goodbye for the last time." Although, it makes it sound like it supports the "once saved, always saved" fallacy, so most of the time I change it to "No true christians say goodbye for the last time." I try to say some nice things I will always remember about the person and how I will always remember and appreciate them.
The problem is I am usually not the best person to be saying those things...so it always feels pretty empty. I always wish my words were coming out of someone else's mouth, notably one of their closer friends.
But it's always better to at least say something.
There was a dream that I dreamed, a dream to see you again.