September 26, 2016

I Want this Love Story to Last a little Longer but there is No Holding On.

window, woman, alone

Today, the world was drenched in a late summer rain, the colors muted and the world blurred outside my windows.

I lit autumn-scented candles and huddled on my couch with a book and blanket, my children playing at my feet. Inside the four walls of my home, I was simply content. Content for the cup of hot chocolate in my hand, the book in my lap, my children on the floor, a wet day outside. I felt contentment deep inside my bones.

And then night fell earlier than I expected.

Already, the days grow shorter. I put my children to bed, took a long hot bath, washed my face, brushed my teeth. I brought my book into the bedroom and then sat it down. Suddenly, it occurred to me that all day the lover I’ve been missing was missing from my thoughts. I spent the day contented, and I didn’t feel his heartbeat out there, the way I sometimes do. I didn’t hear his voice or feel his kiss upon my shoulder.

I sat down on the side of my bed, my book now forgotten. I had the curious sensation of both missing him and not missing him. I missed him acutely the moment I realized I hadn’t been missing him at all. Because soon he will be relegated to that category of someone I knew once and know no longer. His absence from my life won’t be felt anymore, and already I feel a little sad that we’ve come to this: a time when his absence from my life doesn’t feel like this gaping wound.

And while I know that this is healing, I miss the “us” we used to be. I remember us vividly because romance and kindness were so rare for me that I cherished every single moment than we had and ached for them when they were gone.  I remember every moment, every feeling, every word. I remember what I was wearing the day we met and how the air felt in the moments before he spoke, and I will always see him walking toward me. Just like I will always see him walking away.

Only it seems now that I won’t always ache for who we were together.

When we’re finally faced with it—this healing, this letting go—we must be brutally honest with ourselves. And in all honesty, I knew that I don’t want to let go. I just want to hold on, a little tighter and a little longer. I want to cherish for a moment more the fullness of loving him and wishing that he would just admit he was wrong and come back. To realize what he threw away and want it back. I want to savor a few last moments of communing with his ghost or play back a memory or two just one more time.

I want this love story to last a little bit longer. But there is no holding on to this, just like there was no holding on to him.

And as much as I’ll miss missing him, it was beautiful to sit inside on a rainy day with a hot drink in my hand, a good book on my lap, my children playing beside me and to feeling perfectly complete. And there have been so many moments since he left that I have been content.

I won’t miss the constant uncertainty that was the experience of being with him. Never knowing for sure, until the end, if he was going to stay or leave. Knowing on an intuitive level that he was keeping his options open for something better or maybe just something different. Having to put a damper on my emotions lest they cause him to distance himself further. Biting my tongue until it bled to keep from telling him that I loved him, in case it made him want to leave sooner. There is nothing about those things that I will miss, and lately when I think of him, I see his leaving and remember vividly all of the uncertainty he created.

Today, the rain fell in sheets and then it drizzled, and then it fell in sheets again. I had no desire for the world outside my door. And now that the night has fallen, his memory has come unbidden. I remember every moment of our time vividly, and while I want so much to hold on a little longer, the truth is that I’m already loosening my grip.

So tonight the ghost of my former lover may lie down beside me, but tomorrow I will wake in a new day. And maybe tomorrow I will miss him, and maybe I won’t. Maybe the day will pass, and I’ll just be content for all of the small moments, which won’t include his presence at all—in fact or in thought.

Slowly I’ll say goodbye to all of those precious memories. I’m beginning to let him go, and I’m trying to find a little peace inside of that letting go. I’m trying to find a way to accept that I once loved someone so much who is now little more than a stranger to me. It’s okay to be sad about it as long as in the end, we stop holding on to what we need to let go.

And we do need to let go. We need to stop carrying our past into the present. We need to clear the clutter of the past memories and of imagined futures so that we can be fully present in the moments we’re living. To open ourselves up to change and to abundance and to be magnificently happy doing it. To know that there will be other loves and other days and other moments to cherish if we’ll stop replaying what’s gone.

And so while we acknowledge the desire to hold on, we also see the need to let go, and on nights like these where we struggle, we can be gentle with ourselves—allowing time to process the loss, to stroke those beautiful memories gently before finally releasing them.

So we tuck ourselves in with the softest of blankets, nestle into our pillows and remember who we’ve loved and lost for a moment more. Because tomorrow we will be that much closer to finally letting it all go.


Author: Crystal Jackson

Image: Pixabay

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

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