Grieving The Loss Of Someone Who Is Still Alive

Patryk Sobczak

Sometimes we create heartbreak through our own expectations. Sometimes we expect too much of someone and they let us down. We love someone despite their flaws. We chose to focus on the positive, on the way we feel when we are with them. On the love we experience when things are going well.

We create a person and a relationship in our mind, but when life inevitably becomes challenging, we realize that person never really existed.

Grieving the loss of a relationship and a person who, at one time, was a huge piece of our life is difficult and runs the gamut of emotions.

I am grieving the loss of a person who is still alive but can longer hold a place in my life. The process has been exhausting and my emotions have been intense and at times frantic.

Although this process has been difficult and one I would not wish on my worst enemy, I have found that acknowledging how I feel and taking the time to reflect has been a huge help and I have learned a lot about myself through the process. That is why I have chosen to share my experience with you. I hope that if you ever find yourself in a similar position, my experience will provide you some type of guidance or at the very least the comfort of knowing you are not alone.


It hurts when you realize you are not as important to someone as you thought you were. The sadness is consuming and will come in waves. You will soon realize that life is littered with reminders of the person. You hear a joke or see a meme and your first instinct will be “So and So will love this!”, and then you quickly remember that you are no longer speaking. Cleaning out your closet you will find a shirt you bought at a concert with them and for a second you will be overcome with a sense of loss. You also quickly realize how many of your greatest memories now feel tainted and cause you pain. Losing someone who at one time was a constant in your life is difficult. All of the hopes and dreams that you had for your future with that person are gone. You realize that it would be impossible to ever go back to how things were. You can never erase what was said and done. You will cry more than you care to admit. Its okay. I cried long and often too. It will pass.


Sadness for me passed and turned into anger. Anger about how the person hurt me. Anger about how I could have let this happen. But mostly anger about how the future I thought I was going to have with this person is no longer and I must come to terms with that. I am pissed they didn’t try. I was even more pissed that they failed to see everything they were giving up. In my case due to stubbornness and pride. I felt angry that they hurt me and didn’t seem to be the least bit empathetic. I’m angry they quit. I’m angry they didn’t love me more. Anger is a dangerous emotion though as it can quickly turn into motivation for revenge. It is normal to be angry. I even think it is normal to feel inclined to make them hurt as much as they hurt you. However, choose to take the higher road. I quickly realized I did not want to lower myself to their level and that I would likely regret any vindictive action later on. Be the better person, you don’t need another reason to feel like shit.


After my anger had subsided I started to feel a sense of hope. Maybe it’s not to late? Maybe I can still fix this? Maybe the person I loved is still there somewhere under all the lies and narcissism? And maybe in your situation there is hope. Unfortunately for me that is not the case. When you love someone intensely I think it is easy to feel a bit of desperation and a sense that you would do anything to make things better. I implore you to exercise caution. Trying to salvage a relationship that is toxic or one sided will only open you up to more pain. In order to salvage a relationship both parties must be willing. Maybe down the line they will reach out and a door will open. Until then don’t waste your energy or cause yourself anymore heartbreak.


Freedom comes from taking responsibility for your own actions. You have to take responsibility for creating false expectations. Own that. Even then, the moment when you finally decide to admit this person is gone, that it is time to move on, it will hurt like a bitch. But after that comes a sense of freedom and closure. There is only so many times you can allow someone to let you down before you have to move on. One person can only handle so much disappointment. With every action there is a reaction, and eventually you can not go back. Peoples actions will change you. Change you into a person who no longer can allow them space in your life. At first it hurts, but their is relief in the knowledge that you now know who this person truly is. You can get out now before they drain you of any more of your energy. Before they make you love them any more. In my case I realized this person had been a negative energy in my life for a long time, a negative energy I felt an obligation to. Moving on from that person and my belief in them was incredibly liberating and has opened my eyes to the way I allow people to treat me and ultimately how I treat myself.


Lastly, I choose to feel grateful. I’m not sad or mad anymore. I am grateful that this person showed me who they truly were. I needed that. In the beginning I viewed the end of this relationship as a loss. Now I am thankful that I am rid of someone who no longer deserves me. A part of me will always love this person. But I am choosing to love myself more. I love myself and they were simply no longer meeting my standards. I am moving on and I will use this experience to make me better and more resilient. To make me more successful. As much as I have hurt, I now realize what I am worth. And they are simply not worthy of me. I am also grateful about everything I have learned about myself through dealing with this situation. I am also grateful for the support I have received from my inner circle, without whom I would have had a much darker experience. I did not go through this alone, and that is something to be grateful for. Ultimately how you process the loss of a relationship is up to you. I hope you find a way to focus on the positive and remember from pain comes growth. I also hope you remember that how someone treats you says much more about them than it does about you. Keep your head up and let your pain light you a path to better relationships and higher standards. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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