You know you have to say goodbye, but you hold on a little longer because you know when you say goodbye this time, it will be forever. And how do you say goodbye to someone forever?
The truth is, you don’t.
At first, it will hit you like a freight train. You can’t breathe and you can’t see through all your tears. You struggle, reeling from the impact of it all. Your chest feels like a thousand sharp needles, just reminding you again and again of the hole that you now have. And maybe the thought of food will nauseate you, and all you want to do is sleep because the world is a lot brighter in your dreams. And you cling on to the hope that maybe, just maybe, you will get to see him in your dreams.
But even sleep is hard to come by, as you toss and turn in a bed that’s no longer warm and welcoming because it reminds you of him.
And for a while, every little thing will remind you of him. The funny slogan on that tee shirt, a water bottle, the smell of coffee, even the sunshine. You can’t say goodbye to someone that lives on in everything he’s ever touched. So you try your hardest to forget, forget he ever existed. But you can’t. So you learn to live with it.
There will be days that you feel like you’ve taken a few steps forward, only to see a picture of him and find yourself a thousand steps back again. When you let yourself think about the ‘us’ that the two of you had built up, everything you try and suppress bubbles over and you’re left on the floor. And you can’t help but wonder if he’s thinking of you, if he misses you; so many ifs and no answers. You struggle knowing that you may never get those answers.
Then slowly, those reminders become a dull memory, an ache in the back of your head. And those thoughts, they come up every now and then, but they don’t consume you as you lie in bed, just trying to let sleep overpower you. It all just becomes something you’ve learned to deal with. You greet the memory but it doesn’t burn as much, not the same way it used to burn from your heart to your throat and then to the back of your eyes, only to spill out in the form of tears.
Some days, you feel like you’ve found the good in the goodbye. Life seems lighter, the world starts to spin again and life goes on. And then some days, you struggle to get out of bed, the bed that used to hold the both of you.
And then one day, you will wake up and realize that you’ve had more good days than bad. You’ll feel sad, because you think you’re losing the memories of what you had together, almost like you’re forgetting him.
But the truth is, you’re moving on, and that isn’t a bad thing. You know you must. You’ve made it out, wounded but breathing. And the scars that it will form will just be another memory, another lesson, that you carry on to the next lesson. And you will keep learning, because you never stop.
Scar after scar, you have lived. And so will I.