Alfred Lord Tennyson said:
’tis better to have loved and lost
than never to have loved at all.
and while i’ll go along with his line of thinking – i mean really, who argues with Tennyson? – i’m also going to stand steadfastly on the side of the fence with team Loved & Lost and say that over there on the Never Have Loved side, you sure have some pretty green grass.
in terms of the break-up of a relationship, i think a lot depends on the type of loss. there’s the definitive, single fate-sealing event type of loss. one explosive moment. the heart breaks – one quick snap – and then you start learning how to get over one another and move on. when the smoke clears, you find that the rubble has blocked off all return paths. there is no going back. the only way to move is onward. and left with no other choices, you do just that.
but when the unraveling is slow, the pain accumulates every day. even when things seem to plateau, the sadness still manages to grow steadfastly. you wake up in the middle of the night breathless and sweating, sure that This Is It and the relationship you were sure was The One is truly falling apart right before your eyes.
you start to idly wonder what it will be like, no longer being half of something. because even though you rarely talk or see each other now, the constant ache in your gut tells you that you’re still in this. for better or for worse, that’s the strongest sign that you’re still invested – pain that won’t go away. because you feel like a piece of you is dying. and you know that the only way to make the pain stop is to revive that piece or to molt it completely.
but you keep hanging on. because even though things are shit, the thought of either of you making that final move of severance makes your heart grind to a halt, whisks the air from your lungs. you hang on because as long as you do, there is a sliver of hope that you can resuscitate the part of your soul that has been in so much pain as it tries desperately to cling to what was and stretch to what is.
it’s times like these that the loss drains the life from your veins. “anything would be better than this,” you think. “anything.”
it’s times like these that you’re sure that Sir Tennyson was completely and utterly clueless.