I found myself alone with my own thoughts for the first time in a while. I had been moving forward, my eyes ever-fixed on the hope of the future ahead. Peripheral had not existed in some time. Tunnel vision, that is all.
I had become mesmerized by the desire to grow and become a better person and that meant devoting my whole being into dreaming big and being brave and sprinting forward towards the woman I wanted to be and the legacy I wanted to leave without getting caught up in distractions from the past.
The only problem with sprinting is that, sooner or later, you have to stop and catch your breath.
So I did. Reluctantly.
It happened in a second.
I stopped running forward, with the intention of only slowing to catch my breath for a second, without knowing I would be stuck heaving and gasping longer than anticipated. I was alone in my room and without warning, all of the memories crashed over me like a tsunami.
It felt stupid. There was a whole year since him and I. It didn’t make sense why it all felt so raw and real and right now.
I started writing every thought down.
“I just miss him sometimes and I can’t do anything about it. It feels like someone has died.”
And in a way, someone had. Or at least, something had.
His name had been paired with mine for four years of my life. I had a best friend who knew all of my favorite things and asked me how I was doing and cared. And then I just didn’t. Break ups suck like that. Can I just be honest about it? They do. Right there, I realized that I had lost someone and things could really never be the same.
& I decided to hold a funeral for all of the memories and pieces of my heart that he held, because that’s how you grieve lost things and people.
& I let myself remember the way it felt when his fingers were interlocked with mine and the days when riding in the pick-up meant sliding over to the middle seat. And I allowed my mind to wander to the times when we sat on the deck with twinkle lights and a canvas of stars stretched above our heads on carefree summer nights.
& after a whole year of running full speed ahead, I stopped and I let myself grieve what needed to be grieved and I let myself feel what needed to be felt, because some days we get tricked into believing that showing a brave face all the time and plastering on a smile is the only sure sign that we are okay. But, as I sat on the floor with puffy eyes and tear-stained sleeves, I knew I was okay. I was going to be just fine.
I don’t know how to do this whole “healing” thing the right way. It’s a process. It can’t be sped up. There is no time line. Time plays its part in unpredictable ways.
But maybe sometimes the most helpful, necessary course of action is to hold a funeral for our broken hearts. Because we deserve time to remember those sweet days, and we deserve to move forward and be okay.
We deserve time to catch our breath and just feel what we feel,
& soon, when the time comes and we have sorted through all of the memories and all the things that were, we can start sprinting again.