Scallywag

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.

~ Robert Frost ~

The Big Break Up

September 12th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 33 secs

Break up: how bad is it?

Singer songwriter, Neil Sedaka, sang, “Breaking up is hard to do” like it was some whimsical disappointment. Reality, however, is more cuttingly sharp. Whether in a long-term relationship or a brief but passionate romance, break ups are terrible.

Sitting in a café with our family this afternoon, I watched a break up drama unfold. With her head in her hands, the young girl across from us seemed paralyzed by her now ex-boyfriend’s declaration: it’s over.

You could see her demeanor was riven with pain and she seemed to be suffering from shock. That’s what real break ups do. And, whatever our age, it doesn’t get any easier.

Songs about love are legion, and with them, lyrics of love lost. It’s an incredible hurt to handle and sometimes it takes years for the pain to go away. Even in seemingly riven relationships, the sudden destruction in declaring a break up brings finality. Like a death.

Considering the impact of such a loss, it’s hard to see how happiness fits in, and you know what? I don’t think it does. There are definitely times in life for grief and a serious break up is one of them. For those who would want to pump you up with up-and-at‘em happiness, I’d say they’re totally off their rocker.

Handling break up loss demands coming to terms with the situation’s realities. You really don’t need that person’s relationship to be you. While that’s a confronting truth, it’s an important one. On the strength of what we work out, happiness can certainly come further on. But it relies on making new meanings and healing, not the other way around.

If you have ever been wiped out by the grief of relationship break up, you already know all you need to know. It’s a hard teacher and the lessons are merciless. But, hopefully, you will have found the support of good friends and some kindness along the way. If Mr Sedaka was being completely honest, his song should have gone something like, “Breaking up is gut-wrenchingly hard to go through.” It’s a pity he was frivolous, because there’s nothing trivial about it.

 

 

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