Essays

The Things Left Behind

When a relationship ends, there are casualties on both sides. When the emotions die down and the harsh sunlight of reality begins to filter through the dust kicked up by the storm, there’s loss and devastation on both sides.

They aren’t joking when they say love is a battlefield.

After the initial heartbreak of losing someone you saw your future with, there come the other losses: children get separated in the chaos; pets are given to new homes; houses are sold and cars are fought over; items are given to charity or are forgotten about in the ruins of the relationship.

Maybe these things held monetary value (crystal champagne flutes rimmed with gold, a wedding gift from a beloved family member); maybe they held sentimental value (paintings toiled over for weeks at a time); perhaps the objects were simply baubles and decor that reminded you of who you were (a cookie jar in the shape of a fox).

At first, these things aren’t missed. They’re just things, you tell yourself. You should be grateful to get out with what you did, you think. And most days, you’re going to believe exactly that.

Time will pass. Shock will fade and wounds will heal. You’ll move on and start to rebuild your life, not the way it used to be, and maybe not exactly the way you want it to be, but it will be your life, and only you will have a say in how its ran. These are all good things, and you know this, so you are grateful.

But you find yourself missing the material objects, eventually. You sip champagne from a tumbler glass and feel a pang of guilt that you aren’t holding the gold-rimmed flutes. You bake some cookies and lament the loss of the fox-shaped cookie jar that would make you smile every time you saw it. As you paint another portrait, through the opaque haze of creative inspiration, you ponder the fate of the art that was sacrificed.

But… do you want to know a secret?

It’s okay.
Everything is going to be okay.

The paintings aren’t going to come back,
but you’ll paint something better, inspired by the art you’re never going to see again.
God only knows what happened to those champagne flutes,
but as you sip champagne from a tumbler, laughing with those who love you, you realize it’s okay.
And when you unwrap a lumpy Christmas present, the paper falls away to reveal a fox-shaped cookie jar,
you smile.

The things left behind be forgotten, or replaced, or there may be the tiniest of vacuums where those material objects once were.

And that’s okay.
Because you’re okay.


I’m taking a quick day break from Iceland Transcribed today to let you all know that I was offered a contributor’s position at My Trending Stories, where I originally posted this article. 

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11 thoughts on “The Things Left Behind

  1. Congrats!

    Also, what your article states is so true. I’ve been divorced from the ex for over 20 years now and sometimes I still think of things he took from me that brings a pang. I left with one suitcase and no money. I would do it all over again. Sure I miss some of those material things, but as you say, in time they are replaced by better and more meaningful things and with people who care about you. Wise words…..that we have both lived.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The most important thing is that you’re safe and happy. Although it’s painful losing the good parts of a life you tried to build with someone, you made the right choice. You’re already creating new memories that you should be very proud of and carving out a better life for yourself. You are a big inspiration for me and I can’t wait to see what you do next x

    Like

      1. I wrote his mother… Detailing all the stupid stuff he did.. She went berserk… Two months later he came back.. I’m waiting for my moment… So mr Tookles can poop in his shoes.

        Like

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