The last time I saw my Gran, I left by saying "see you soon!" I knew she was dying of cancer, but I wanted to keep the mood upbeat and tried to leave on a happy note. She died soon after and I kicked myself for years for not being able to say goodbye properly. My Gran came to me one night, years after she passed, and I got to say the goodbye I never had a chance to.
I think the thing to remember is, it's never really goodbye, because we'll soon see our departed when it's our time to go.
I think that "goodbyes" are overrated.
If you love or care for someone, then you should live your life that way. You never know when someone will die- that includes yourself- and a final word is meaningless if the way you have lived doesn't bear out the things you say.
If I were to die today, it wouldn't matter to me so much whether I had a final chance at a farewell. I know the ones that have loved me, and there are no great secrets or admonitions that remain to be shared. As much as I like the idea of saying a final "I love you" to someone I am losing, I would hope that the person would already know how I feel.
My mother always said that she wanted to die in my arms. When it was her time, I relieved my sister from her 'shift' and was so tired from the previous night that I crawled into bed nest to her. I sang softly into her ear-for some reason "Me and My Shadow"- and I fell asleep beside her. I was awakened by nurses-telling me she was gone. I was so honored that she waited for me-and for some reason I couldn't cry. Some people want to have their loved ones around them and some don't want to put the family through the pain. It is what it is - so don't beat yourself up over it.
It happened with both my mom and dad. You need to always tell them you love them...every time you see them or talk to them.