Saying Goodbye to Ghosts of Lovers Past.

Via Kate Rose
on Jan 2, 2016
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“Even if we never talk again after this day, please remember that I am forever changed by who you are and what you meant to me.” ~ Unknown

As the clock struck 12 and my friends around me erupted into cheers and leaned into the sweet kisses of their expectant lovers, I raised my glass of champagne and said goodbye to my past lover.

I realized as midnight dawned closer that when my lover said goodbye to me and my thanks to him for finally letting me go, I missed the most important part.

I missed my opportunity to say goodbye to him and his ghost, who still lingered on the outskirts of my memory.

For many of us, we accumulate a closet worth of past loves—because in the end, it’s a rare few who capture our heart long enough to actually become a significant part of our lives.

But what becomes of the others?

The ghosts of the maybes and possibilities—the loves who almost were, but in the end just couldn’t be.

If we don’t release ourselves from the memories of the ghosts of lovers past, then we will never be able to fully move into our present or future loves.

Or more importantly, moving into the place of more than just being single, but being truly available.

I realized that I enjoyed hanging onto this memory of him because it made me feel a little less alone, but most of all I hung onto it because I was afraid of letting go.

Because I realized that even in his absence, his ghost had become my fall back.

I believed that what we shared was the makings of the forever kind of love—until I grasped that no matter how much hope I had, the pieces were never meant to align.

Saying goodbye to our lovers and their ghosts are two different things.

That is why I made the choice to leave behind this particular man and his lingering ghost in 2015.

I have learned far too much to only need a ghost of a man as a fall back, but I also had to realize this in my own time as well.

When the moment was right, within the silence of my heart, I thanked him for his part in my journey and I released him.

I was also honest with myself about why I had kept his ghost around for as long as I did—and truthfully, it had very little to do with him, but more with me.

At one point, I was afraid of being alone—I wasn’t comfortable being single.

Because when we aren’t ready to face our own truth, it is much easier to drown in the deception and drama of another as a distraction.

Most importantly, I realized I just didn’t know how to say goodbye.

Goodbyes are something I’ve struggled with my entire life, because I am a forever kind of person.

I’m a ride or die kind of chick, if you will—and so leaving someone just doesn’t come naturally to me.

Whether it’s a friend or lover, when someone becomes important to me, they also become a part of me.

But, in the quiet days of contemplation that lay between Christmas and New Year’s, I realized that my natural instinct to never leave was the very thing preventing me from moving forward.

At one point, this man told me that if things ended, he would only smile because he had no regrets.

And now I understand just what those words mean—because I have finally arrived into my present with clear eyes and an open heart.

This man was an important part of my life and saying goodbye to his ghost doesn’t change this fact.

This man came into my life when I needed him to be the catalyst, moving me toward the woman who I need to be, and into the life the universe has in store for me.

The thing is, I cared about him so much that I refused to see him as being just one of the amazing people who are meant to come into our lives for a short period of time, just to shake things up.

“People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.” ~ Michelle Ventor

Only when I became honest with myself—about why I always returned to him and about the kind of woman I really am, and what kind of life I want to lead—did it finally become easy to release his ghost, once and for all.

Because in all honesty, I wasn’t saying goodbye, I was finally moving on.

We had already said our goodbyes and exchanged casual pleasantries over the holidays, but now I was releasing him once and for all.

He won’t be a part of my future and more than likely, I may never see or talk to him again.

And I now understand that sometimes this is the way that it is meant to be, because not everyone is supposed to stay forever.

Just because we say goodbye to the ghosts of our past, doesn’t mean that it was any less meaningful or amazing than it felt at the time—it just means that we are growing, and with it comes change and separation.

I am not scared of being alone anymore, simply because I have faith that this was the right choice.

I don’t know what 2016 has in store for me and I may ring in the next New Year just as single as I was this one.

Or maybe not.

But the big difference is, my heart is now available and I’m ready for whatever may come.

Because I finally released my ghost of loves past.

And so now, there is no one left to haunt me.



Author: Kate Rose

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr/Instill Moments


About Kate Rose

Kate Rose is an artist, free thinker, lover, writer, passionate yogi, teacher, mother, rule breaker, and rebel. She can usually be found walking barefoot in the moonlight between worlds with the dreams of stars still hanging in her hair, swaying her hips to the music of life and smelling of sweet bourbon and honeysuckle. She lives for adventure and wakes each morning with the excitement of a new day waiting to unfold at her feet. She truly believes the best is yet to come and waits, with bated breath, to see what it may hold. Follow her on TwitterFacebook or Instagram, and find more of her words on her website


5 Responses to “Saying Goodbye to Ghosts of Lovers Past.”

  1. Eric says:

    Thank you, I needed to read this….I too, was the catalyst for someone to move on in her life. I wanted to bring out the best in her–not just for a season–for the rest of our lives. But it was not meant to be. I always told her that her happiness was paramount–with or without me–but I always assumed that it would indeed be WITH me. Not so….I didn't know what to do with all the leftover love that was still inside me and weighing me down. I grieved not for what ended, but for what never had an honest chance to manifest…

    It was a full moon on Christmas Eve, I took the last remnants of her–some letters and cards–and after offering up a prayer of lament and acceptance to that bright orb, I burned it all and released her. I'm still caught off-guard by a rogue wave of grief, but I am feeling a little lighter each day…a bit less haunted by this revenant.

  2. Laura says:

    Oh Kate Rose, I think we walked in a parallel universe, it blows my mind how eloquently you write my thoughts. Usually after I read one of your writings… I wonder for you also like myself how someone could give up and walk away from unconditional love like ours.
    I will always struggle to give up hoping that he will realize what he left behind. I didn’t have a choice, I had to let go of him and his children. I did and always deserve more than he was able to give me. He was my best friend and we still communicate via text or a phone call… It’s hard to let go completely and I will need to eventually. He met someone and instantly wanted marriage and a family with her, I will always wonder what was I missing in me that he couldn’t find. The quote in this writing, I think about that and say versions of it to my self daily. It’s been 8 months since he moved 1,000 miles away and left me with a shattered heart. I envy your strength to let go of his ghost… I know I have to let go completely

  3. yr othe1/2 says:

    I have been in a ride or die pairing with the most amazing person not just woman ever put on earth. The ways she is a very crucial part of my very existence are uncountable.i cnt be fake and say that I agree with even , a little bit of the previous readings about lletting her decide i am out done fuckyou,thx for almost 12 mf long ass yrs and tearsright. Along with the most amazing best friend and right arm its fucking bullshit it creates a file that is the same one you couldn't ever put down to the new one which you Would do almost anything. To have me know that this is true even though I know you are doing the opposite direction it fucking hurts like a bullet in yr leg 4twenty yrs.i cant be able to get a chance to talk about this cause to you its not reality. The only thing I can do to help you with the new year is a very long look at truths the real ones and the real consequences of these real not falsehoods that are not the intended result.i can never never be a step away from yr side the one that has been the only thing i truly from the heart fucking care if its tucked in at nite and slide my own fingers down your gorgeous face to let you know in the most slow childish made for the 2 most important ladies in my life lives or not of this world u /raver That my love for you guys has got to be real im tellin u how its meant to be dont tear your love from me.please pleasepleasegaiger

  4. Marija says:

    Your stories are very simmilar to mine.
    Thank you for that.

  5. Kavya says:

    Beautifully written…