Good Grief: Lost Love

Experiencing loss doesn’t always mean death. Sometimes, death is an easier loss to take than someone walking out of your life or having to let someone go.

Relationships are hard: If you’re lucky, the relationship ends with your love taking you away together, like the end of The Notebook. As Nicholas Sparks wrote, “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.”

Very few relationships get this loving ending. Often times, we’re left wondering what went wrong and aimlessly wander around until we find ourselves again and bring meaning back into our lives. There are a few difficult pills to swallow when it comes to mourning the living.

When someone dies, we have a sacred place we can visit to commemorate them and sit with their spirit. In some ways, this is a construct we are lucky to have. When someone is still alive but the loss is there, where do you go? What do you do with the feelings of pain, anger, and sorrow? The hardest part is the hope.

Hope that one day they’ll come back to us. Hope that someday you won’t dream of them anymore. Hope that one day they’ll just be a memory that you can look back on. Many people get there eventually, but it can take a really long time to heal after any sort of loss. This is why, when healthy relationships end, stalking your ex on social media once in a while can be really healing: Watching someone else move on can hurt and become the fire that fuels you to move on.

Closure, understanding why a relationship ended, is extremely important in the healing process. Unfortunately, not every relationship is granted this luxury. However, being able to find peace after the end of a relationship is what’s important.

Ariana Grande’s song “thank u, next” exemplifies that wonderful stage of peace that comes during healing, where you can just say, “I’m thankful for my ex, but I’m in love with myself now.” Instead of focusing on the loss, it can be empowering to focus on regaining your sense of self. In the words of my love Taylor Swift, “She lost him but she found herself.”

Healing comes in many forms, one of which is self-care. Allow yourself time and space to grieve a loss, in all of its forms. Mourning relationships is especially important because rebuilding and rediscovering yourself is a process that takes time.

 

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