This is me accepting that you’re leaving. It’s my acknowledgment that there’s no further argument to make, no angle left to take, no plea or bargain I could wager that could get you to change your mind and stay. This is my subtle resignation to our downfall. This is the crack running between our two hearts that turned into a valley and engulfed us. It’s my acceptance of all I couldn’t bridge.
This is me knowing that we don’t get a do-over – not on the last night I spent asleep beside you or the last time I told you I loved you or the first moment I felt us start to drift apart. I know we don’t always get second chances. I know I do not get to go back in time and kiss you slower, love you stronger, linger five extra minutes in bed every morning that I woke up beside you. This is me knowing that I can’t rewind history and ask you what was wrong each evening that you came home with a puzzle in your eyes but no answer on your lips. This is me knowing we don’t get to go back.
This is my acceptance that I’m going to miss you. That there are going to be nights where I curl up in bed with a novel and a warm mug of tea and your absence on the left side of the bed is a chasm that swells and envelopes me. That for a long time I am going to see you everywhere – in second floor windows, in the faces of strangers, in the photos and memories that tear on my heartstrings for months after you’re gone. This is the realization that missing you is going to become a second heartbeat in my body, strong and thrumming inside of every place where you lingered and then left. These are my weakened vital signs, beating out of sync with yours for a while.
This is my knowing life goes on. Knowing that someday I will not think of love as a feeling that’s exclusive to you and I, as crazy as that seems to me right now. That eventually I’ll meet someone new – someone who loves the foods you hate and laughs at things you don’t find funny and appreciates the parts of me that you once left undiscovered. That some days, in the early morning hours, I’m going to wake up beside them and forget – just for an instant – that it is not your body tangled in mine. This is me knowing that those moments will defeat me – that I’m going to need to practice standing at the edge of your abyss without falling in completely. This is my hoping the discrepancy shrivels with time.
This is my conceptualization: That someday I’m going to have a wedding and that you will not be there. That the ring that gets slipped on my finger will be picked out by somebody else and that the people sitting in the front row with eyes brimming and hearts bursting will not be your family members. This is my acceptance of the finite absurdity of knowing that I’m someday going to promise my life to someone who is not you and that I may even be happy to do so. That one day I’ll see changes and beginnings in a way I never saw them with you.
This is me knowing that we’re going to grow old. That your life is going to be huge and important and chockfull of love but that it’s all going to transpire without me. That I am not going to be there to toast to your 50th birthday or cheers to your timely promotion or crawl in beside you on the nights when the world’s weight is too heavy to bear. That your losses and gains will not be lined up with mine. That someday when you hold your first-born child in your arms, it’s not going to be me who placed her there.
This is me knowing that I have to let you go. That no matter how much I love you or how hard we work at this or how badly we both want each other to be happy, we are never going to be the right partners for each other. This is my acceptance that the best things are never straightforward and that I want you to take whatever crooked, twisted path you need to take if it will lead you towards your dreams. This is me knowing that I have to do what’s right. That sometimes the best thing you can do for someone you love is to let them go – to do more, feel more, be more than the person they ever could ever have become by your side.
So this is me unclasping my fingers.
This is my parting, my reluctance, my heartache and my final gift to you.
This is me letting you go.