Recently, I wrote an article about the end of a relationship.
It was a series of poems that pieced together the cycle of our hearts breaking and healing themselves. It was meant to be read both together and separately to paint a picture of a relationship’s end and all the feelings that may come with that. I had many people reach out to let me know how deeply these thoughts resonated with their experience. Through writing it, I was also able to find some peace myself.
I often find that bits of phrases run through my mind. It’s a part of my process as a writer that I am inspired by images that come to me or fragments of sentences that play in my head like music. I felt that the last series of poems was still incomplete, and I was given the gift of more words to pass along. They played in my head as I continued to work through my own feelings.
When relationships end, there’s rarely a quick sense of closure. So often we’ll find ourselves revisiting the arc of our relationships from beginning to end or stumbling upon bits of memories as we go about our lives. Whether the ache is acute, chronic or just a passing irritation, we cannot connect to other souls and then disconnect without some of the energy remaining.
It hurts and there’s no cosmic band aid we can place on our wounds to make them instantly better, but we can allow our emotions to play out. The healing will happen when we allow ourselves to let go of what’s done and open our arms to what’s ahead. Regardless of where we are in the cycle, we can find comfort in knowing that we’ll find our way back home in the end.
In this series, I explore the hurt that comes when relationships don’t last and how we tend to question everything in the absence of true answers about our former partner’s thoughts or motives. Without an open dialogue to talk through a relationship’s end, all we have is how it made us feel. I find it interesting how those feelings can change from day to day, as we grow and our perceptions grow with us.
I’m often comforted by the knowledge that time does heal all of our broken pieces, though often we find ourselves put back together in new, often stronger, shapes.
I miss you
with a pain that will not leave.
Though you’ve been gone,
still I can’t believe
that you’ve become the person
I now have to grieve.
yet still I love you so;
my heart is full with you.
And yet you leave me
before you have to go.
My eyes are filled
with tears that will not fall.
They cannot help me
tear apart your wall;
and despite this true connection,
you chose to lose it all.
Soon you leave;
I knew it all along.
Time is precious,
but time is never long.
You chose to end this,
yet I still say you were wrong.
Will you pack your bags
and say goodbye?
Or wait until you’ve gone already
so that you never see me cry?
You said we’d stay friends,
but that was just a lie.
Insight into your mind
was never to be mine.
You’ll look for me one day
and I’ll be doing fine.
You’ll think of me,
but you won’t be on my mind.
I feel the ache of you and me.
I often miss it desperately,
but I was just a thing to you—
I thought I saw it in your eyes.
A spark of caring in your lies,
but it was just
a trick of light.
Or did you care,
could that be right?
I ask these questions in the night
when sleep escapes me and all I find
Is you and me still intertwined.
Don’t say what you don’t mean.
And I’m sorry doesn’t change a thing
when what you do is still the same;
don’t say I’m sorry when nothing’s changed
that you are broken
and the lies you told
were just a token.
Traded in for more of this—
My breath, your breath, the deepest kiss
My hands, your hands, the deepest sighs
My lips, your lips, my eyes, your eyes.
In the quiet of your leaving,
in the calm of letting go,
I found myself just then believing
in a me you did not know.
I can wake from dreaming,
a smile of joy upon my face.
I can stand, my coffee steaming,
on my own two feet in my own place.
I can build a life worth living;
I can count my blessings here.
I have a heart that’s built for giving;
I have a mind that faces fear.
In the quiet of your going,
in the calm of finding me,
I can rest inside the knowing
that this is what was meant to be.
I can wake from sleeping
with my joy flowing fast.
I can build a life worth keeping,
I can be more than my past.
The ache of your absence still visits.
Some days I let it in.
But most days I’m simply grateful
for the you and me of then.
There are days you never cross my mind,
and yet I love you still.
Each day I’m learning to move forward—
they say this is how we heal.
Some days I fear that in the end,
when I fit my broken pieces back in place,
I will miss the ache of this.
I will miss your empty space.
And in that moment I will love you,
as much then as now and ever;
and I will send kind thoughts toward you
though we couldn’t have forever.
Every piece into its place;
my heart stronger than I knew.
There is beauty in the space
that used to hold my love for you.
There is peace inside the healing,
rooted in the strength in me.
There is calm inside this feeling,
now that I’ve learned to simply be.
Every piece into its place
and peace now that we’ve spoken—
just to say I love you still,
but I’m choosing not to be broken.
Author: Crystal Jackson
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Matthew Wiebe/Unsplash