Sometimes we are so afraid of moving on. We are terrified of healing, of “getting better,” because deep down we believe that moving on means forgetting. And forgetting means that we can no longer care. It means that we can no longer miss them. We can no longer think of them. We can no longer run back to them when life is hard. We can no longer call them when we just need the comfort of having someone on the phone with us, breathing into our ear. And healing means that the story is officially over. It means the ending becomes finite. And this scares us, because if we make the ending permanent, we are afraid that our story never mattered. And we are afraid that we will never have another story quite so beautiful. And if we heal, we have to move forward on our own. We have to trust that this is right, that this is best.
We are afraid to heal because healing leaves little space for us to “accidentally” send that drunk text “just checking in.” Healing means that we can’t continue to stalk them on Instagram or Snapchat, no matter how automatically our fingers bring us to their profile. It means we can’t wonder what they are doing every second of every day. It means we can’t reread old text messages or look at old photos on our phones to take a trip down memory lane. It means we can’t listen to the voicemail we saved that ends with “Love you.” It means that we can no longer wonder about the “what ifs.” It means we can no longer consider trying again with them or trying to make things work just one more time.
Moving on solidifies things. It ends the possibility of “one more time.” It means no more second guessing. It means no more asking our friends if we think we made the right decision. And if we do move on, if we do heal, we know that we can’t think about them anymore. We can’t cry about the memories we shared with them. We can’t get choked up when we miss them, because we can’t miss them anymore. At least, not if we are healed. And this is why we are so afraid.
We aren’t ready to say the “real” goodbye. We are scared to say that we are healed, because we still feel uncertain about acknowledging that this time, the story is really over. The finale has already happened, and the goodbyes have already been said, but we still don’t feel ready. Because if we admit that we are healing, the heartbreak becomes permanent. The healing becomes permanent. The wound closes up, and we can never return to memory lane. And even if we are ready to close this door, it still terrifies us. It still frightens us to be alone. We are still afraid to face this world without them. We still want to hold on to the possibility of having them in our life. We still want to have them in the back of our minds.
But the truth is it’s okay to get better. It’s okay to heal. It’s okay if the scar starts to fade. It doesn’t mean you can’t think about them ever again. It doesn’t mean that you will never miss them again. It doesn’t mean that the love didn’t matter. It doesn’t erase the grief that you felt. It doesn’t negate the pain you experienced. And by no means does healing mean forgetting. It doesn’t mean you have forgotten how wonderful the love you shared was. It doesn’t mean that you will never cry about them again, or that you will never miss them again. It just means that you will not feel like crying all of the time. It means that missing them won’t always be so all-encompassing.
Moving on doesn’t erase the story the two of you shared. It doesn’t erase the little corner of the universe you two created. It just means that it’s time to turn the page. That this chapter is over, and that your heart is ready to experience something new. Healing means that from now on, when you think of them, you might not break down. It means when you hear “your song,” you might not feel like your heart is breaking in half. It means when you go to sleep, you’ll finally have other things on your mind. It means that you will still think of them, but you will be okay. It means you can remember them, but you will still feel full without them.
And this is okay.
It’s okay to feel okay. I promise, it’s okay to heal. You don’t need to be broken forever for it to have mattered. You will always have the scar. But it will be small. It won’t need to be tended to. And sometimes, you’ll notice the scar more than other times. You’ll begin to miss them again. You’ll think about then when you are daydreaming, or they will show up in your dreams and you’ll wonder how they are doing. But for the most part, the scar will just stay delicately on your heart. Your scar will simply be a reminder of something beautiful that was once an important part of your life.