The Last Stage of Grief

I think I’m as over him as I will ever be.

I don’t know that I’ll ever get to the place where I have zero feelings for him. There is too much that happened with us and way too much that didn’t. I cared too much back then to not care at all now.

BUT, at the same time, I think there is a getting over that means thinking of the good memories of him with a smile (that isn’t longing) and thinking of the bad memories with a shaking head in disbelief (not hurting).

I feel much better now that I’ve given up hope.

Maybe this is what they call Acceptance.

Do I wish things would have turned out differently? Oh, absolutely…but they didn’t and I know that there is nothing I can do about that. I gave it all I could. I did all I knew to do. I did the right thing. I did the wrong thing. I did something when I probably should’ve done nothing. I did nothing when I probably should’ve done something.

All of that doesn’t matter now. The game is over.

I’ve been standing in the middle of the field staring at the scoreboard for months and months, bewildered at how I lost. I’ve replayed every scene in my head until I memorized every movement and line. I analyzed every word, every voice inflection, every glance and every reaction. I mentally searched for hints and clues and some I found staring me in the face and some still have me questioning their existence. I begged God for a do-over. I imagined what I would’ve, could’ve or should’ve done or said instead of what I said or did.

Futile tasks because all of that doesn’t matter now. The game is over.

At some point you have to walk away…even if it’s taken you longer than understandable to do so and no one is left to cheer your exit from the stadium.

I give up out of necessity. I realize….

It is impossible for me to change the past. I have no impact on yesterday. And I am a fool for letting yesterday rule today.

It’s over. I lost.

I went after someone with everything I had and came up empty-handed. It’s a sobering but necessary realization that everything doesn’t turn out like I plan. I can control a lot of things, but I cannot control another person’s heart. I cannot make a person love me…just as another person cannot make me love him. God didn’t make us like that. We each have our own hearts, desires, and wants that cannot be manipulated, bought or bargained for…not even with the currency of reciprocity.

He had a heart that I couldn’t capture even though I sought it diligently and at times in tears.

It was a lost cause. A losing game from the jump shot.

But I tried. And even if I ultimately lost: I am walking a way with a hell of a consolation prize: Knowledge.

I learned so much from that situation. I learned about men. I learned about relationships. I learned about friendship. I learned about myself.  I learned what I do and do not want and what I do and do not need.

It’s weird because I thought I needed another person in my life in order to get to this place. I thought the only thing that would wipe away the tears he put on my face was the hand of another man who loved me. I was wrong. I wiped away my own tears, dusted myself off and picked up my season schedule. There are more games to play.

And maybe next time, I’ll win.

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