When the love of your life gets engaged to another person, they might as well have died. Actually, it might be worse than death. If they were dead, you could only pray that they’d visit you in a dream. There is no earthly possibility that you will ever see them in the physical again and that can be processed by your heart and your mind.
But when they’re engaged to another person, roaming the earth, still in your world, chances are you still won’t ever see them again. Which is more deplorable because they’re only one hundred miles away. A two hour ride, full length movie, four episodes of How I Met Your Mother, or a gratifying nap between classes. You could even walk, for about a week — but you don’t love them that much, do you? Well even if you did, it wouldn’t matter anyway. There will be no more phone calls for hours with your head under the blanket. Forget about the butterflies that felt like new, every time you saw them. That laugh. Their hands. Never again. They’re gone forever.
You cannot grieve, properly or publicly. Because there is no bereavement leave at work for having your heart ripped from your chest. Your professor will not let you make up an exam you missed because the love of your life doesn’t think you’re the love of theirs, decided you weren’t the best fit, and chose someone else to spend the rest of their life with. So you go into work, you study for exams, you behave appropriately as the dutiful employee, student, sibling, and friend that you are. Because even though you suffered a loss, life is still going on all around you.
And people wonder. You’ve gained ten pounds in the last six months, you’re angry, irritable and depressed as hell. Because okay, yeah, they’re engaged but you should be over it by now. But they will never understand, unless they’ve been through it. Receiving the news that your rib has gotten engaged only you’re not The One, is literally one of the worst kinds of hurt to ever feel. This isn’t your everyday heartbreak, this one is final. You will never, ever, be with them again. These are the days after a funeral for a person who is still very much alive and well somewhere miles away, but most importantly in your heart.
There are inside jokes you’ll never get to repeat and stories you’ll never tell again. Memories unshared, that will only live on through you… But is it really only through you? Are you still sharing the memories? Is he trying to suppress the thought of you? It makes you wonder – are you dead too? Dead to them. Are they grieving over you?
Either way you’ll never know. The only thing for certain is that you lost one of your best friends, the only person that you ever really loved. I know that you think there is no one who can understand this kind of death, but I do. I feel for you. I am you. And let me be the first to say, that I am so sorry for your loss.
But they really are elsewhere, a place were you cannot exist together.
And because I love him so much, I thank God every day that he’s only dead to me.