Death is undoubtedly one of the most challenging human experiences. Some people are so important to us that just the thought of living our life without them feels extremely overwhelming and devastating.
However, psychology theories suggest that the grief and loss of a meaningful relationship in our life, can be as painful as loosing loved ones due to them passing away.
Relationship breakups can sometimes be experienced worse than death as the person who we need to separate from is haunting our thoughts. The hope in a reconciliation makes the letting go harder to achieve and, therefore, it prolongs the pain and detachment.
Every experience of separation is different, but I think we all have an idea of the emotional suffering you feel when experiencing a relationship loss.
Sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, resentment are some of the emotions that you may feel when experiencing grief.
What word do we commonly use to summerise all this process?
It must be “goodbye”..
In life making a choice often involves having to face some sort of loss, and this is the case when we decide, or may have no other choice, to say goodbye to some important people in our life.
As humans we naturally search for certainty, therefore, we tempt to picture the people that we love by our side for a lifetime. They become our anchors, our “forever people” and, by definition, the ones we are never meant to say goodbye to.
You see… grief does not exist without love….like the yin and yang they always go along together.
So how do we say goodbye to “forever”?
As you may already expect after reading my previous posts, I do not have a magic formula for you. I have said a few goodbyes in my life though and I hope that you find in my experience something that can be useful for your own.
My most painful goodbye?
That would have to be the time I tasted betrayal from the person I wanted to spend my life with.
I thought I knew what heartbreak felt like until I witnessed disloyalty with my own eyes.
Not an easy task to stand in front of the person I trusted while he was “sharing” his company with another woman.
After the initial shock my grieving process began.
I felt humiliated…deeply hurt…as someone have punched me in the stomach. But the feeling I will always remember is of my insides sinking and experiencing an unbelievable void in my world. I felt extremely lost and alone.
Despite the emotional chaos there was a very rational part of me that knew that things would never be the same again.
So what do we do, when we find ourselves confronted with an uncomfortable reality?
Well… there was nothing I could say or do to fix it.
Sometimes endings don’t have to be messy because leaving can be an act of love towards yourself and the other. I guess this was me coming to terms with reality, picking up the pieces and moving on.
Accepting the loss of someone is a process.
As humans we go through 5 main stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Though I prefer to call them phases of grief, because most of the time, is not a linear process. Grief feels like an emotional roller-coaster as you are skipping from one feeling to another and from phase to phase. It’s important to keep in mind that this emotional journey is normal and sometimes getting some professional help may be healthy.
There is no set time for mourning and people might take longer or shorter to go through the process. Despite the 5 stages of grief model everyone experiences grief in a very personal and unique way.
Keep in mind that it is not a race, It’s a journey with yourself. There will be days when you will feel better and some other days will bring you back to your knees.
So if you are experiencing grief right now, or you will in the future, I am not going to tell you that life goes on and that it is full of good people out there. What I’ll tell you is this:
“What you are experiencing is necessary and there is no way of getting around the grieving journey.
The only way to overcome grief is by grieving.
…And I can’t promise that it will get better soon but it ultimately will with time.
What you can do for now is to take all the time that you need and be kind to yourself during the process.
The sooner you start it the sooner you will heal.”
Going back to our “forever people”…
Reality is, that there will always be only one “forever person” in your life and that person is yourself.
You will be the one who is going through every single moment of your life: every challenge, every achievement, every beautiful and sad experience. And when everything seems like it is falling apart it’s all up to you to work out the way to move forward.
Be there for yourself. Be kind with yourself and most importantly, be proud of yourself. Correct! There is great courage and pride when experiencing grief in love.
Keep in mind that it hurts because it matters. And if it does, it means you are a person capable of loving and brave enough to open yourself to great vulnerability. Every time we open ourselves to love we also take the risk of experiencing deep suffering. On the other side if we do not, we would never experience the happiness involved when we are in love with someone.
The pain of grief is as much part of our human nature as the joy of love. Whether you like it or not it is part of our life’s journey.
Sometimes life can play funny games and love may not always be enough to keep two hearts together.
Despite the goodbyes and the loss of the physical presence of people in our life the memories and the feeling of joy we experienced belongs to us forever.
But most importantly, what we really own forever is the way these experiences and people shaped who we are today. And this in itself my friend, is glorious.
With Love x
Watch the video in the Brain Guru section on how to cope with grief after a breakup