I read an article in Psychology Today regarding moving on. It was interesting, in the sense that I already knew it somehow about everything the author wrote, yet I did not ever accept it out loud to myself. However, there was an outstanding line, a closing line in that, that stated about writing a closure letter to that person who is now gone.
A goodbye letter.
In Existential Analysis class, there was an assignment to talk to our exes or write a letter to them. At that time, I was on a period of going crazy from trying to move on, but failing all the same. I kept going back to him, craving for his coming back into my life. I wondered why, because I had written him so many diary entries and a handful of proses about him, about us, from the time we met until the time I turned to hate him. It all did not work a single bit. In fact, the more I created stories about us, the more I poured my feelings on paper, the more he grew in me. The more my heart made room for his existence. I missed him more than ever.
And then the assignment came.
“Guys, this is an assignment, so you must do it. You will not be graded for this assignment, but I know you need it. The assignment is to talk to your exes. (The whole class gasped and squeaked in remorse and or excitement.) Or write them a letter. You can give it to them, or burn them. Whichever. But please do it. For your own sake.”
And I thought, “That’s easy. I do it all the time.”
But now I know that I had never done it until that time.
Yes, I did write and write and write until my head falls off my heart, until my heart flooded the canvas. But I wrote them as a memorabilia. A statue–something to remember that guy by. Which is not the same as a closure. If anything, all I did was dig a deeper whole for him to fit into my world and make a home there. That’s why he persisted, and I almost lost patience.
But writing the letter, expressing everything honestly to him. That was a closure. In such a short time, he was gone out of my heart. He stayed in my head for some time, but I did not remember him with a lingering “what if” inside my heart.
What made the difference?
Before, I wrote about him so much, but to myself. To give myself a reason what a wonderful thing we were and that we did not work out. But we were wonderful.
But now I was ordered to write to him, but for myself. To tell him the reason why we were wonderful. But we did not work out.
Writing about him was an act of keeping him alive. Writing to him was an act of letting him go.
And it seemed like a thin line, but the difference was humongous.
That night after my lecturer told us what we should do, I wrote a fat letter to that person who was as alive in my head as the fire of passion. I wrote directly to him, which I never did. I wrote as if I were going to let him read it. I wrote as if he would change his mind after that. I wrote things I would never say to his face. What surprised me was that the only thing I wrote him was the wonderful things that he was and we were. There was absolutely nothing negative in there.
Well, there was. But only one thing. “In spite of all that, we did not work.”
And then I wrote, “But that’s okay.”
And then I did not proofread it and went to sleep instead.
And then a year after that, I came across that letter again, in which I have forgotten almost completely about how special that person ever was. And in my pace of things, one year is like a lightning bolt.
Moving on had never happened as fast.
Closure, people, is all we need. Closure is letting the ghosts rest in peace. The correct way to say goodbye, even if we are doing it alone.
And most of the time, it only works if we confess to the object of closure, whether in imagination or reality. Honesty is the best policy, especially for our own peace of mind.
So, do it. Now.