Stage 5: Acceptance

“Grief is the best way to keep a lost someone close to you.”

When he said that, I found a puzzle piece. We were sitting on my matchbox balcony, sharing a starry space, looking at each other like we sparkled. For weeks I had been piling padding around my heart, gliding over the gap M has left by leaving. In a letter, M said, “Unlike you, I’m not trying to forget. At least, not yet. I keep the memory of you warm, worn, and beautiful.” And maybe he’s been soaking in his grief because that’s his way of not letting go of me completely just yet.

I have been running through the grief as if it were a bucket of water. Getting wet, but not soaked. Whenever I found it in my hands, I unclenched my fists to drop it, as if the drops of water were actually hot coal. I thought I was refusing to hold on because I was so intent on moving forward.

And to a certain extent, that’s true. I am fighting so hard to let go. I finally have myself back and I don’t want anything to drag me away from that. But also because, what else can you do?

But, drop by drop, the grief has cornered me. And while I don’t feel it constantly, there are times when it punches me so hard I literally cannot breathe. I’m still trying to evade it, but god, it takes up so much energy. It’s tiring. And it’s a faux way to let go. You cannot let go of something until you have a grip on it. 

I have been refusing to admit that I am heartbroken. Not because I worry I am not strong enough to deal with it–I don’t doubt my resilience anymore–but out of hope. Because once a heart is broken, it morphs. And I can feel it in my gut that my revised heart will not be able to love him again should he ever come back to me. I have avoiding the grief just in case I don’t have to feel it. 

It’s been almost two months and yes, I’m still in love with him. But I can imagine a future where I’m not, even though I know I’ll suffer first. And yes, we feel unfinished, but maybe that’s only because I was the one who wasn’t ready to let go. I don’t know if that matters.

Somehow, this experience still makes me feel good. Because, yes for the last four years, it’s been one thing after another; life hasn’t let me rest. But I’m not wondering why anymore. This is what life is given me and all I can do it accept it and keep walking. Life doesn’t owe us a damn thing. There is no quota for suffering. Or joy. It is what it is. And sometimes it’s challenging for longer than we’d prefer.

So, that’s that. I am heartbroken. But the rest of life is beautiful and so full of love. And, you know, I’m looking forward to the new heart. I think it suits me already.

hold on tightly


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I drink, I laugh, I smoke, I write.

4 thoughts on “Stage 5: Acceptance”

  1. This is the second time I have read a post conceived by your hand. Your words are poetically beautiful, yet at the same time are able to capture emotions, thoughts and feelings with a painful yet truthful honesty that is seldom seen expressed so genuinely or expertly.
    On a side note, excuse me for shamelessly promoting something on your blog ma’am, but at present Good Morning Bedtime Story, an international mental health group, are running a poetry competition. The way you write – maybe you might consider entering…

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I shall certainly check out Good Morning Bedtime Story (catchy name), even if I’ve probably missed the competition deadline.

  2. “…And I can feel it in my gut that my revised heart will not be able to love him again should he ever come back to me. I have avoiding the grief just in case I don’t have to feel it.”

    this feels deeply true to me, and i have never articulated it to myself or grasped it before — thank you.

    1. But also, if it’s meant to be, any revision of your heart will love them. It’s the equivalent of writing a big pape- one way or another, it’s going to happen. You just can’t be bothered to start writing it. I love that you are still around, Holly 🙂

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