Updated: Oct 4, 2019
I haven't really experienced the kind of love that William Shakespeare always wrote of. The one that Duke Orsino described in Twelfth Night saying, “If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it, that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die”. Its effect on us is so dominating, leaving those who experience it feeling as if they are unable to survive when it ends.
It was through the ending of one relationship that I witnessed its after effects. I saw first-hand how hurt my daughter was at the ending of her relationship with her friend. I couldn't understand the pain, but it was very real and it went on for months. She was inconsolable. In the 70s, Blue Lovett, of The Manhattans, carolled words with his deep, bass voice in our delicate ears that went something like this:
“This has got be the saddest day of my life,
I called you here for a bit of bad news,
I won’t be able to see you anymore
Because of my obligations,
And the ties that you have,
We’ve been meeting here every day
And since this is our last day together,
I want to hold you just one more time,
When you turn and walk away,
Don’t look back,
I want to remember you just like this,
Let’s just kiss and say goodbye”.
We would be so swept by Blue that we failed to realize that this 1976 hit song entitled “Kiss and say Goodbye”, was actually a sad break-up song. We would be so hung up on Blue’s voice that we didn’t realize that someone else, Gerald Alston was singing the rest of the song. You would hear this song exploding in potential boyfriends’ cars. It was emotional and sad, but because it was a love song we felt it was appropriate to listen to over and over, digesting every word, albeit never truly grasping their meaning. I believe we were in love with the idea of love itself.
It was around this time that my friends and I learned that if you break up with someone before they do, it is not as painful as if they broke up with you. You feel like you are in control a little bit. However, this notion is very painful when the dumped boyfriend moves on and dates your friend, who in most cases would have been the one to have encouraged you to take the bull by the horns and initiate the breakup in the first place.
I have seen how hard it is for people to move on after a break up. A friend of mine was halted when her husband of 22 years left her for someone else. He married someone and had kids with his new wife, but my friend could not move on, she did not know how to move on. She had invested so much in her failed marriage that she could not imagine her life without her husband.
I held her hand daily through this, trying to be of comfort. For years she talked of nothing but how her husband was going to come back, but he had moved on. Finally I told her, “your husband is gone, he is living his life. You have to learn to start living yours too” – she finally moved on and is happier and in a new relationship, she is excited about life now.
I am a firm believer that God opens doors that man cannot shut, and can shut doors that nobody can open - even if we try to beg, manipulate or negotiate with Him. I believe it is in our best interest to work hard to maintain our relationships, but if the friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife lives, we need to move on with our lives too.
In Chapter 1 and verse 14 of the book of Ruth, Orpah kissed her mother in law, Naomi, and left to go back to her home in Moab. Orpah went on to live her life, married, and gave birth to her own children. Naomi and Ruth went on with their lives too, Ruth married Boas and Naomi found her purpose when she nursed their baby. God fulfilled His promise in their lives.
To stop living is to give the person who has left more power than they deserve. Nobody should have that much control over our existence. Forgive and release them and allow yourself time to heal, God will heal you, He is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit - Psalm 34:17-18.
I want you to know that you will come out of this, you will live again, you will dream again, life will make sense again. This too shall pass, it always does. As painful as this is, it will surely work out for your good.
Thought: Psalm 147:3-5 – “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit. (NIV)