It has happened to all of us. A relationship you once enjoyed has now ended and left you feeling sad, if not puzzled, and feeling truly alone. You can admit that there were times when things were not going well. You can also admit that you wondered whether staying was worth it. What you didn’t imagine was being left, without a trace, a phone call or even a text. They are just GONE. Typically, being ordinary people, we need an answer to WHY. Why did our friendship have to end? Why did the love I thought we were sharing go away without explanation? Why?
When people simply disappear, there is a hole that is gaping in us and longs to be filled by validation. What did I do wrong? Didn’t I mean enough to you to have a final conversation? Am I such a horrible person that you didn’t even want to talk to me about what happened? That validation shows the humanity in us. And humanity being what it is shows us one more thing: there are going to be instances in life where you will never get the answer. Some relationships do not get restored. Some relationships end and leave you feeling less than whole. Some relationships never get a final goodbye. So what do you do when the chair really is empty and there is nobody on the other end of the conversation to help you heal? You do it yourself.
Closure by yourself is still closure for yourself…
As tough as it may be to think about this, what closure really does is gives you something that you can only truly give to yourself: corroboration of your worth. The need to hear someone say, “I failed and needed to walk away,” or, “There was nothing wrong with you,” is not the gift that others can give to you. It is the gift that you must give to yourself.
Now is the time to face the truth about who you were. Did you do the best you could while the relationship was intact? Did you make every effort to be kind? And, even if you failed at times, did you make sure that you fixed your part in the damage with behavioral change when warranted? When a relationship ends, both parties must look at what they contributed to the distance and ultimate ending. Being able to say to yourself that you were honorable (not perfect) while in the relationship is the first step towards closure.
If we’re honest, when people choose to walk out of your life, there were already signs. Signs that led them to believing they weren’t valued by you. Perhaps they were distant and you didn’t notice their presence was filled with absence. Another bit of honest reflection may be found in you. Is it possible that they weren’t of the quality that you believed they were and may not have belonged in your life any longer? It’s hard to acknowledge but you owe it to yourself to make a true assessment of what you lost.
When we wait for someone else to tell us what we are worth, they will get it wrong every time.
Loss is profoundly painful. But healing is what we all need to give to yourselves. The kindest act of healing is to first be open to forgiving yourself for your part in the damage. If you are longing for those final moments to hear from someone else what you are worth, let that go. Healing does not require anyone’s approval, permission or opinion. You are free to choose to move forward into wholeness. Start by filling your well with what you know is true about the quality person you are. That is and always will be a solo conversation.