There are times when it’s not possible to move on. You think you put issues and events behind you, only to have them resurface once again. The re-manifestation of matters unresolved can present itself in many ways. It can be casual conversation turning unexpectedly awkward. It can be the idea and vision of resolve crumbling in the blink, or the bat, of an eye. It’s a roadmap that says, “Continued on page 57…”, only to find the atlas is 42 pages long.

Who knows why we seem to repeat these exercises in our lives. Why does grief, in its varying shapes and forms, continue to haunt us and weigh us down? I feel like Al Pacino in The Godfather III. “Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in!” Be it the death of a relative, a heartbreaking loss in a game, or just plane ‘ol heartbreak, it seems like we’re never ready to move on until we’re ready to move on. Kudos to Yogi Bera for the inspiration.

So the million dollar question is, “At what point is it OK to let go? At what point is it OK to move on? “ I know that technically that’s two questions, and if I had a million dollars I would be in a Bare Naked Ladies song, but I digress.

I think the need to let go has a lot to do with other people’s expectations. I think we don’t want to present ourselves as weak or dependant, so we force ourselves to think and say that we have actually moved on. That we’re over that special someone. That we have ‘come to terms’ with the situation. We feel the desire to be applauded or commended for our strength. We long to be told how courageous we are for overcoming the adversities of life.

And as much as I understand that life goes on, I think we should take our time to process those things in our life which cause us pain, grief and agony. I firmly believe that if, God forbid, something happened to my kids I would not recover from that. I view my children and my love for them as a zero-sum game. You invest your heart and soul into the lives of your offspring, and to have them taken away from you represents, to me, the stealing of everything by which you define your life. I know I would not recover, and I commend all the parents in the world that have actually survived the passing of their child.

And although I may not be nearly as emotionally vested in other people, there are other relationships I hold very near and dear to my heart. The idea of losing or terminating any of these relationships is unsettling to me, and I believe that I would survive in an unresolved state for a very long time. I’m not even sure survive is the right word. Exist, meander, wander……. those are the feelings I have carried the past 8 months, and every time I think I have turned a corner I find these unresolved matters pulling me back in.

I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t know if it can be found in text pages and voicemail messages. I don’t know if it can be found in shared meals and pillow talk. I don’t know if it’s at the bottom of a margarita, kir royale or Michelob Light. What I do know is that I keep driving my life over a cliff because I don’t know how to let go or say goodbye. I’m too busy looking at the map and not noticing that the road ahead is uncharted.

A wide open future……… Sometimes that’s a good and exciting thing. And sometimes it’s gripping and paralyzing. This weekend, I think it was a little bit of both.


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