This is how you Learn

Grief can break you.

It pulls to surface the voices that lie dormant; until the joints in your body ache with the memory of his touch, the break of his voice, the crest of his smile. Till you’re nothing but a disjointed, shivering mess, lying in the puddle of your own misery – the pulses of fear that shake your foundation. Who are you? Where are you? Why?

 

We all deal with grief differently.

He went out and played sports. I got drunk and made friends: Jim, Jack and Glenn. Oh, the thousands of Glenns I became acquainted with, learning just which year suited my palette at the right moment… the smoothness that slid over tongue to cover up his taste.

I wanted to quiet the voices so I partied until I passed out just to ensure that the only pounding I heard was the music reverberating off the dance floor.

 

I questioned every decision that led me away from him, that broke us, that broke me. I craved a closure that would never be. The truth is I still have a million questions that I want to scream at him. There are still a million why’s and what ifs. Had I stayed is the biggest hurdle I can’t seem to get over.

And the absolute truth: there may never be answers that will satisfy me.  

 

Before I left, there was a crescendo of emotions.

A desperate, mad longing that left me broken beyond human imagination. The grief that took until I was empty and left me emptier; the gut-wrenching, all-encompassing nothingness of being alone… we’ve all been there. Or knew someone who was there. The absolute lack of words to describe the void that leaves writers breathless with fear.

 

I want to say that I left with my head held high, smile in place; veneer uncracked. But I didn’t.

I cried with every ounce of my being, begging him to stay, to fight for us, fight for me. Never let me go. I wrote him long love letters of passive aggressiveness, telling him that there will never be another who would love him the way I did. I tried to become an idealized version of myself to fit who I believed he wanted. I ignored my worried friends and their clichés of time will make you better, but hindsight is 20/20, and what I’ve since learnt to acknowledge is that he let me go. Period. The end.

The greatest love story of our century: unwritten, clichéd and pathetic.

 

But the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia have fallen off. My grief made me become a monster, and my hindsight has allowed me to acknowledge that.

 

There will always be an infinite fondness for him. He made me who I was.

I was right in saying that there would never be another who would love him the way I did, but what I’ve since learnt is that maybe that was exactly what he wanted. A different love from what I could give.

 

When I was 13, I had my heart broken for the first time, and through the screaming tirades, through the dramatic exclamations of death, through my tears, my mom told me “sometimes, it doesn’t matter what you want. People are entitled to their own opinions and emotions.”

I used to hate that.

 

In a world that constantly taught us it was how we branded ourselves, that we could achieve whatever we wanted, now here was this line inked in black that you can’t cross, no matter what? No. I didn’t buy into it.

 

So naturally, at 20, I cried, I drank, I starved, I ran, I did everything but actually face up to what was really hurting.

Sometimes, you fall into the dream more than the person. Sometimes, you fall for a person at the wrong time. Sometimes, it just simply wasn’t meant to be.

Mostly, sometimes, it just ends.

 

We broke up because I had plans and I was moving away. He wasn’t ready to do long-distance, and I can’t fault him that. The thing that really burns me is that half a year later, he was in a long distance relationship with another girl. Of course, I made all the usual comparisons: is she prettier than me? Smarter than me? Why her and not me? What makes her better?

 

But… so what?

Even if I had all my questions answered, so what? The grief is still here. The pain is still here. The history is still here. The scab is raw and tender and the love burns. White hot flashes of pain that sear through my brain with every memory.

 

In the end, it doesn’t matter.

I moved to a different city, oceans away, and he let me walk.

 

This is my closure.

Understanding that while it doesn’t begin with him, it ends with me: moving on alone with my head held high, leaving the signifance of him behind. The rejection stings, but rejection always stings. I survive anyway, and maybe somewhere down the road of surviving, I’ll start living.

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