Monday, July 1, 2013

What Happens When Others Move On?

Blake's mom and I have been talking a lot about what happens when others start to move on.

At first, I was tempted to react to this with anger. Was the sorrow and heartbreak expressed immediately around the time of Blake's death phony? Everyone was devastated. People changed their Facebook profile pictures to pictures of them with Blake, poured their hearts out in emotional statuses, wrote notes all over his wall, and got together with close friends to reminisce and talk about what a great friend he was. It seemed like everyone felt the true weight of this loss. We were all in this together.

It was not even a week later that the pictures started changing back, friends stopped sharing stories about him, and gatherings became less and less frequent. Now, just a month later, I feel like I'm crazy because I think about him literally every minute of every day. What happened? Why is it so easy for everyone else to go back to their lives and I'm just stuck here feeling awkward for even bringing up his name?

People constantly give me the advice, "Move forward with your life. Blake would be so disappointed if you stopped living your life to be sad about him. Just think about the good times." I'm not saying that's bad advice (in fact, it's perfect advice), but what people fail to realize is how impossible that is to follow right now.

When a person is so much a part of every aspect of your life, losing them makes everything fall to pieces. Who do I text about something hilarious I just saw? Who do I laugh with? Who do I vent to? Who tells me when I'm being ridiculous and helps me improve my behavior? Who do I call when I need a thought partner on what to do in a confusing situation? Who do I sleep with at night? Who gives me a hug and tells me everything is going to be ok? Who do I plan a future with? Who loves me unconditionally and sees me for who I really am? I guess I can lean on all of my friends and family to fill those roles for the time being, but it's absolutely devastating when all those roles used to be filled by one person: the person I called my boyfriend, love, and best friend.

It's hard not to be angry at people for starting to move on. It's really difficult to come to terms with the fact that it's going to take me a longer time to bounce back than most people. Maybe part of this anger is just that I'm frustrated with myself that it's not as easy for me. I want to feel like myself again, but the real truth is I will never be the same. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it's going to take time to adjust.

Instead of being hurt that people are getting back to their lives, I am going to be proud of them. I know in my heart that just because people don't have Blake as their picture, or don't write him notes, or don't talk about him, definitely doesn't mean that they don't love him and appreciate him for the role he played in their lives.

Moving on is not the same as forgetting.

Moving on is healthy and necessary for everyone.

Although I am months away from being able to move on, I am comforted in the fact that I have his family and closest friends to talk to. I thank everyone for their advice about moving on and want them to know I hear it, respect it, and hopefully will be able to put it into practice soon. Thank you for your patience as I continue to take my time.

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