Rigor Mortis of the Relationship

Posted: September 10, 2013 in Uncategorized
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My friends mean well, with the comments that I should just move on and the gleeful declarations of solidarity from the single ones that I’m “back on the market,” back in the club with them. But they have not gone through this, not been in long-term relationships that eventually dissolved, not gone from having a partner to having to do without.

Everybody means well; not everybody helps. I don’t mind, because I know they don’t have a real frame of reference for my experience, just as I don’t have one for theirs.

One of the things I’ve learned, having loved and lost, and loved and lost, and… is that no one gets to tell me when to move on. That’s not an aggressive statement, just a statement of fact. I decide when I am ready to abandon all hope, to go through the next stage of grieving, to hide or display my grief, to stop leaving the door open a tiny sliver just in case things can work back out with the passage of some time, to be friends in the meantime. I am in charge of how I process this. I am not hanging onto a fantasy; I see this clearly for what it is — and in the way that only I can, having walked around inside it for more than five years.

The thing about rigor mortis is that it sets in after the organism dies, and then after a while it lapses. It is natural, and it is only temporary. Though it may appear I’m stuck, frozen, death-grip on the deflated hope of what’s already lost, I’m not; already my muscles are relaxing. But only I get to decide if or when my feelings change from what they are to something they could be.

I’m not in the habit of giving unsolicited advice, but that’s kind of the point of this post: nobody wants a backseat doctor giving a second opinion on a relationship autopsy.

  1. jasonbdutton says:

    Well said. Let me know if I can be of any help — I’m not that great at backseat doctoring, but I’ve gotten good at listening. 🙂

  2. LJ says:

    I think this is beautiful, friend. I appreciate your sharing about this, thanks!

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