I have a hard time writing this one, because two people are in a relationship, and even when that relationship ends, there is only one of them left writing this blog. We are so intertwined, even when we are apart. The identity might become clear of who this mystery man is for those of you know me and my story well, and he didn’t ask for this kind of exposure, but it goes to prove a point about what I’m writing about, and if we are not to write and make art about our suffering and experiences, what are we to do? If he ever comes across this I apologize in advance for the unwitting disclosure, and maybe having a shaded memory about some of the events. I will try to depict the situation as true as I remember it, and be as honest as possible.
I recently contacted an ex of mine, one who I thought I would and had plans to spend the rest of my life with. After all these years, the respect we showed each other was second to none. I have not ever again encountered this since. Someone who I haven’t spoken to in years gave me a full explanation as to why love was lost, and has helped me on my quest to find closure.
You can’t hurry mourning, and this is why I am adamant when I say it’s not because it’s meant to be that it will happen, or there is not always something better for you waiting. Since this relationship ended I have had countless good moments, but also a lot of struggle, and feel that I have altogether not moved on. Maybe it is because of all this struggle that I look so fondly back at those times, and idealize them to the point of romanticizing a time that became hard for me and my partner and it broke my heart to drag him down.
I read an article on Huffington Post about growing older, and one of the quotes stuck out: “I think I will always miss the way things used to be, even if I don’t actually want to do those things anymore.” We have this sense of nostalgia for how things used to be, and hold onto how things once were even though we don’t actually want to go back there. I think if my ex and I met up again today we’d be such different people that it would almost be shocking for both of us.
I’ve lost friends, not always suddenly. Sometimes it’s just a casual drift which can be hard, because at what point do you get to mourn that the friendship has passed? I have physically lost my mum, which was hard. She’ll never see me as an adult, and sometimes I grapple with realizing that she is never, ever, ever, coming back. But the hardest loss for me has been this relationship and I’ll tell you why. Yes losing my mum was one of the most difficult things I have and still do experience, but at least I know she still loved me.
“I don’t love you anymore” are the most heartbreaking words I have ever heard. And I don’t even know what to say to that. I didn’t know what to say at the time either, but that’s a whole other story.
Don’t rush your mourning. I remember when my mum was dying, and she was very frank about this fact, she looked me in the eye and said “I’m going to die. And it’s okay to be sad for a while, but you have to move on”. She told me to write the “morning” pages, which I originally thought were the “mourning” pages and I refused, shocked at the idea that she was suggesting she’d be gone and the reality of having to deal with it. But after she died I found the book The Artist’s Way and I did write the morning pages. I wrote three pages, stream of consciousness every morning for 30 days. This was when I began journalling.
For years I wrote letters to my mum when I was sad, when I was happy, when I was angry, when I felt life was altogether unfair. I haven’t written those letters in years now but I have curated this blog and found release through exchanging emails and snail mail with loved ones.
Get your release anyway you know how: put a pen to paper, go for a jog, pick up a paintbrush, sing really loud in your shower (I bring my iPhone in there on speaker to listen to music to conceal some of my off-tones), even if you suck! It’s very cathartic. However you get it out, make sure you do and take your time. Some days are better than others, and that’s okay. Give yourself time to heal. It can take a lifetime, but relish in those happy moments, those smiles, those laughs. Mourn alone, mourn with others, find the best mourn for you.
I love you all infinitely.