In a perfect world, when a relationship ends, we would feel a sense of finality, a sense of closure. We would say our goodbyes, and cut ties slowly and gently, to lessen the heartbreak. We would promise to still remain friends, and to always be there for one another.
But how many break ups really end this way? How many times do we leave relationships feeling a sense of peace, or of closure? In reality, breakups are rarely neat and tidy, and they are very rarely gentle. And as much as we may want it, we usually don’t fully feel that we have closure. We don’t usually feel confident that we have said what we needed to say, we don’t usually feel like we are ready to move forward with ease. Most of the time, we don’t even walk away feeling certain that this was the right decision, or the right outcome. And let’s be honest, we rarely feel as though we could even stomach seeing each other in public, let alone talk or stay “friends.”
Relationships are messy, and the endings aren’t always clean. We crave a final sentence.
We really want a concrete ending, a period at the end of the chapter. But we usually feel like we are left with a comma, left taking a breath in the middle of a sentence.
The comma becomes an ending, and then the choppy ending feels unfinished and unresolved, like something is missing. It seems like so many unspoken words and broken thoughts are still floating around out there in the universe, and here we are, broken and scattered just trying to pull ourselves back together.
Sometimes we feel as though the goodbye came too soon or too suddenly. Maybe we didn’t even get a goodbye at all, at least, not a real one. We feel like everything was ripped out from under us, and we don’t have a handle on the situation. All we want is to find some sort of peace, some sort of feeling of reassurance…we want to know that everything is going to be okay. And without closure, it’s hard to feel like everything is going to be okay.
We wish we could wrap our heartbreak into a little box and to leave it stored in the closet with the rest of our memories. We want to be able to close it and store it away. But the pieces are too jagged to put back together. Without closure, the broken bits are too full of pain to squeeze into a little box.
We so badly want to analyze the situation, breaking it down into logic and facts. We want to put our finger on the broken part, and then determine how to fix it, or at least, how to move on. But often times there’s no rhyme or reason. There’s no fix for a broken relationship. There’s no proof or logic that will solve this riddle, no matter how badly we want it. The truth is, sometimes you won’t get the chance to say goodbye in the way you would wish for. Sometimes he won’t say goodbye. Sometimes he won’t tell you that he still cares. Sometimes he won’t help you tie up the loose ends. And these are the times in which you have to learn how to make your own peace out of a broken and heartbreaking ending.
When you don’t get the closure you need, you will have to create the closure yourself.
You have to accept that the closure that you seek will need to come from within you, as you will never get closure from him. Closure will come when you realize that maybe he’s not the one for you after all. I know you thought he was, but even though you thought that what you had was perfect, something wasn’t completely aligned between your hearts. Something was broken. You’ll have to tell yourself that something wasn’t right, and that it would never be right, no matter how many times you replay each little moment in your head.
You will have to convince yourself that he did love you, despite how hard he broke your heart. You will have to convince yourself that everything between the two of you was real, and that it meant something, maybe even everything, even if it shattered into a million tiny glass pieces.
You will have to acknowledge that it is time to create new beginnings. You will have to fight like hell like hell to create these new beginnings, because your heart and your thoughts will still be preoccupied with endings. You will have to fight to let go of what was in order to make room for what could be.
You will have to stop yourself from pressing send on that text message that lingers on your screen, the message that lists all of the all of the things that could be if only the two of you could try again.
Because, you know, deep down, that you shouldn’t try again. You know, deep down, that the ending has already started.
You will have to realize that he is now part of the past, part of your previous chapter. You’ll have to remind yourself that the crooked half smiles and long familiar warm hugs have to stay tucked away in your memories now. You’ll have to stop yourself from running back to him, even when your heart tells you that he is exactly what it needs. You’ll have to remind yourself that you will feel warm again one day. One day you will be okay.
You’ll have to remind yourself that the ending doesn’t change the middle. The ending doesn’t make the story any less special, or less magical.
I can promise you that eventually it won’t hurt so much. One day you won’t break down into tears when you see him out in public, or when you see an old picture of the two of you, with shining eyes and rosy cheeks. One day you won’t sob at night when you hear the song that you jokingly danced to on one of your very first dates. You don’t need to worry so much about your heart…your heart knows how to heal.
It may take you a long time to say that final goodbye to the relationship that used to be yours. It may take you a long time to finally come to a place in which you can see that this chapter is over, that this story is finished. It may take a long time, a very long time, for you to glue your pieces back together. But the truth is, if you were strong enough to love him, you’re strong enough to walk away.
You see, eventually you will understand why this story took place. Eventually you will hold this dear story close to your heart, and realize that you have loved and been loved, and it is time for a new love. You see, one day, the glue will be dry, and your heart will be healed.