“So many dreams that flew away, so many words we didn’t say…
Two people lost in a storm… Where did we go?
Where’d we go? We lost what we both had found…
You know we let each other down
But then, most of all
I do love you… still.” ~The Commodores, “Still”
Powerful lyrics. Word for word, it is as if they speak directly to my soul. And if I told you that every time I hear them, be it on the radio, television, or randomly in my own blonde Aries head, that I don’t become even slightly emotional (courtesy of a depressive Pisces Ascendant), my pants would be metaphorically on fire. The truth is, the simple act of typing those lyrics quite literally has me trying to focus through vision blurred by tears begging to fall, accompanied by an all-too familiar tightness in my throat. And there’s a significant chance that if I blink, those tears will flood down my cheeks like a wall of water crashing through a dam that has given way.
The end of a marriage or long-term relationship goes far beyond losing your significant other. As if that aspect alone isn’t painful enough, we also bid farewell to the plans we’ve made for the future, sharing our common hopes and goals, and making our dreams a reality together. My 8-year long-term relationship with a Cancer-cusp man was the most wonderfully satisfying relationship of my life…and his (I’m not being presumptious with such a bold statement; he told me on many occasions that was also true for him.) We were platonic friends for ten years prior to making the leap to the next level, and what an awesome foundation for a romantic relationship that was! A solid foundation built on a decade of hundreds of heart-to-heart conversations, more often than not lasting from late evening til daybreak…and never running out of things to chat about, no awkward pauses; it was comfortable, natural, and right. For all intents and purposes, we were best friends. When we broached the subject of taking things a step further and followed through shortly thereafter, we were a bit concerned that things would “get weird.” But to our surprise and delight, they didn’t! On the contrary, it felt more along the lines of this is how it’s supposed to be. Like Cinderella’s glass slipper, it was a perfect fit.
Neither one of us had ever loved anyone as truly, madly, or deeply (thank you, Savage Garden) as we loved each other. “Where have you been all my life?” we’d frequently wonder aloud, as we snuggled in the safety of each other’s arms late into the night. After much discussion, we agreed that perhaps the Universe felt we first had to experience our share of painful, unhappy relationships; a prerequisite, as it were, in order to learn from our previous mistakes, but also so we could fully appreciate the happiness we now shared as a couple. It was totally worth the wait.
“Nothin’ lasts forever, and we both know hearts can change
And it’s hard to hold a candle in the cold November rain
…but lovers always come and lovers always go and no one’s really sure who’s lettin’ go today
If we could take the time to lay it on the line I could rest my head just knowin’ that you were mine…
All mine.” ~ Guns N’ Roses, “November Rain”
I believed, as did my Cancer-cusp beloved, that although it’s said nothing lasts forever, that couldn’t possibly apply to us. On Valentine’s Day 2010, which would be our last together, I presented him with a wooden plaque that read Grow Old Along With Me, The Best Is Yet To Be. We wholeheartedly expected to be together til one of us departed this life.
We couldn’t have been more wrong.
Like most couples who are in it for the long haul, we faced the inevitable rough patches from time to time. We had our good years and we had our bad years, the way relationships tend to wax and wane. Ours was no different. The cruel irony, however, is not only had we managed to navigate far more treacherous waters over the years and emerge relatively unscathed, with a stronger bond to boot, we somehow ended on what we mutually agreed had been our best year yet. So many couples recollect how their relationships gradually headed south over a period of time until the only option left was to end it. An obituary written for the demise of those marriages might read “passed away after an extended illness.” Not ours. If one were to compose an obituary for our relationship, it would read “died suddenly at home.” It’s like a cosmic joke that, a year and a half postmortem, I still don’t get.
And then…deafening silence. The Cancer-cusp love of my life, with whom I was utterly convinced I would live out my twilight years, virtually deleted himself from my life. I felt more like a widow as opposed to an ex. He seemed to vanish into the ether and cease to be, practically overnight, existing only in my memory. I had no communication whatsoever with the man with whom I had hoped and planned to grow old.
That is, until one year, two months, and three weeks later.
There were last goodbyes still left unspoken
You’re the only love my life has known…
And after all this time
You’re always on my mind
Hey I could never let you go
A broken heart that heals so slow
Could never beat for someone new
While you’re alive and I am too
And after all this time
You’re always on my mind
I still miss you.” ~ Rodney Crowell, “After All This Time”
It’s been a fairly abbreviated exchange thus far (how much depth can such a conversation actually have in text messages?) and I couldn’t bring myself to inquire about any current girlfriend he might have. I’m terrified of the answer. While I want to know (thanks to a curious Aquarius Moon at work), I don’t want to know (a textbook Pisces Ascendant reaction, seeing only what we want to see.) Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.
However, we mutually acknowledged we can never go back to what we had. Oh, how I wish that wasn’t the case. My Aries Sun, forever grasping at optimistic straws (bless its stubborn heart), so desperately wants to believe there’s still a glimmer of hope somewhere. But deep down in my broken heart, I know things would never be the same. I can only hope that at some point, he will be open to the possibility of slowly rebuilding our friendship. It was devastating to lose the connection we had as friends, not to mention the agony of saying goodbye to the relationship itself.
I suppose I’ll find out soon enough. He says he’s ready to graduate from texting, and wants to talk.
I have nothing to lose. After all, I already lost everything.