Thursday, April 2, 2015

Losing Someone You Love: Do We Really Forget?

This is a topic that fascinates me.  You hear so many conflicting things when it comes to love.  Some people say "time heals all wounds," yet others still lament about "the one who got away" or the person they can never quite forget (despite many of them having loved someone else in the meantime).  Some people say that once we find someone new, we forget about the last person.  However then you hear about people who do find someone new, but there is still one person who manages to stand out in their mind among the rest.

Also, many people have one or more past loves who they say that they no longer reminisce about.  Yet, many people also tend to have one or two past loves who they never forget about, a person who was just a very powerful love in our life.  

Why can we forget some more easily and not others?  

So many interestingly conflicting viewpoints on this topic.  Therefore I did some research.  I found three articles on this topic, all presenting different, thought-provoking points. I clipped from these articles the parts I found most relevant or powerful.

Scroll down for some of the possible answers to these questions I posed above.

(The following three segments have been clipped from other articles I found online which I liked very much, and felt resonated with the feeling of this particular entry.  I have made such to offer links back to the original articles at the bottom of this blog post).

It’s interesting to think about how we make people who used to be everything, into nothing again. How we learn to forget. How we force forgetting. What we put in place of them in the interim. The dynamics afterward always tell you more than what the relationship did – grief is a faster teacher than joy – but what does it mean when you cycle out to being strangers again? Because actually, you never really stop knowing each other in that way. Maybe there’s no choice but to make them someone different in your mind, instead of the person who knew your daily anxieties and what you looked like naked and what made you cry and how much you loved them.  It might be the only way to lessen the pain and be able to face moving forward.
When our lives revolve around someone, they don’t just stop doing so, even if all that’s left is some semblance of their memory. There are always those bits that linger. The memories that are impressed on the places you went and the things you said and the songs you listened to remain.

We all eventually find ourselves standing in the checkout line, hearing one of those songs come on and realizing that we’re revolving around them again. And maybe we never stopped.

Do you ever really forget your lovers’ birthdays, or all your first times with that person, intimate and not? Do your anniversaries ever become normal days of the year again? Are the things you did together and promises you made ever really neutralized? Do they become void now that you’re broken up or do you decidedly ignore them because there’s simply no other choice? The mind tells you to go on, and forces your heart to follow suit I guess.  I wonder, and maybe hope, if we ever just force this out of necessity.

Either way, it’s inevitable that you expand. That you’re left knowing that much more about love and what it can do, and the pain that only a hole in your heart and space in your bed and emptiness in the next chair over can bring. Whether or not that hole will ever again include the person who made it that way… I don’t know. Whether or not anybody else can match the outline of someone who was so deeply impressed in you… I don’t know that either.

We Never Really Let Go

All we are is a composition of our experiences. A brilliantly flawed collage of the people we’ve loved and lost, and the lessons we’ve learned — or ignored — along the way. Inevitably we all will let someone, or a few someone’s, into our hearts and souls and some of them, we won’t be able to get them out again.  

They’ll linger as an echo of whom they were to us and who we were for them. These people often teach us about that fine, blurred line that exists between love and hate — and how, sometimes, you can feel both for the same person at the same time.

But the memories… the memories remain.  Some people call this ‘baggage,’ but I call it life. I call it experience. I call it having courage enough to let someone close enough to do damage and having strength enough not to let it unmake you. Anyone can keep people at a distance but the brave thing is to let them in. To let them see and know you and to see and know them.

When a relationship ends, everyone will tell you that time eventually erases the hurts and sweeps clean the slate. Until one day you won’t wake up with them on your mind, or find yourself wondering if they still think of you too. The years will pass and in a sense, that passed time will prove everyone right… but you will also find that, in some ways, it has also proven them wrong. 

You’ll go weeks, months, maybe even years without thinking of them, but someday, out of the blue, they’ll be there, the ghost of them still in your heart for better or for worse. You’ll have forgotten a lot of things – most of them petty and superficial anyway – but the small, special moments will always remain.

Life is made up of the small, simple moments. The little idiosyncrasies that create a person, like their soft early morning sighs, or the specific order they washed themselves in the shower, or the way they looked at you, or squeezed your hand, or the cute nickname they had for you, or the way they always wrote you small notes or the way they laughed or were obsessed with raspberry cake. Maybe, if you concentrate hard enough, you can remember the press of their hand in yours, or that vulnerable, tentative smile they seemed to save just for you. Time hasn’t erased them; it’s given them a gentle, sweet clarity. They are a part of us, and they always will be.

I think many people try to bury or ignore these emotions, convincing themselves it’s the only way to move on — either on their own, or with someone else. I believe that the truth lies in the knowledge that we will always love those people who managed to find their way into our hearts, to some degree or another. People have an enormous capacity for love in all its many diverse forms.  These are the people who have shaped us, who have helped us to grow in and through love. By accepting them, and what they were to us, we are essentially accepting ourselves. All relationships hold both the good and the bad, just as we ourselves hold light and dark.

People, especially those who love us, provide us with an outside lens to focus through, giving us the opportunity to see life, and ourselves, from a different angle. It’s the people we let close to our hearts that show us who we really are.

When you meet someone you fall for and build a relationship over a period of months or years, only to part ways, the damage done can haunt you for years — even decades — to come.
People are the most important aspects of anyone’s life because people have the ability to change us in ways nothing else can.
The right person can turn hell into heaven, and the wrong person, heaven into hell. Sometimes we find that the very same individual is capable of both.
Relationships that start off great often end in tears of despair. It’s not something that one can often predict during the onset of a relationship; it almost always catches us entirely by surprise.
You build a vision of your future together in your mind. You create hopes, dreams and you build anticipation.
You create a reality that revolves around your relationship and when that possible future becomes an impossibility, you crumble along with the future you hoped to see.
Letting go of someone who meant so much to you, who changed the person you are in a drastic way, is incredibly difficult — there’s no way of sugarcoating it; it sucks. 
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that “time heals all wounds” — because that’s nonsense. Sure, time heals many wounds. Most wounds even, but not all wounds.
Some wounds stand the test of time better than any of the remaining wonders of the world. Some wounds are so deep that the only way time can remove them is by removing you along with them.
I believe that there are some people we never stop loving because they’ve become a part of us. 

You can find the three articles above in their entirety here:

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