How does one say goodbye to someone you have never seen but have only felt?
Finally, today, I will be brave to confront the obvious answer: you just let go.
“Have you released him yet?” A friend asked me that poignant but strange question today and I responded with a laugh. Released him of what? There was not even clear parameters to define what we had, I reasoned, more to myself than to my well-meaning friend. And come on, it has been five or six years since we last heard from each other. What is there to talk about him? He has not crossed my mind in years. Or yeah, maybe, once or twice in a season, when I see a guitar or I revisit my works during that season when he was inundating my consciousness, I always pause, listen to that old familiar heartbeat (growing fainter and fainter now but I still hear it) and allow myself to get lost in his memories for a while.
Or to be more precise, the memories of his words.
It sounds crazy, you know, I told my friend. And it is really crazy, to get so attached with a person whose voice you won’t even recognize from the other line and whose face you won’t even pick up from a police line-up. How pathetic could one get? Or how desperate was I for a connection to even allow myself to be caught in such a fantasy?
But the emotions were real, said my friend. With you, at least. And maybe you ought to acknowledge that, honor it and then let go. So God can finally give you what (or who) He ought to give you.
Release him, she said, and the infinite possibilities of the two of you that have been unconsciously lodged in your mind and heart through all these years.
So I am trying to be brave right now to say, I am letting you go — you and your beautiful words, the emails you sent, the prayers you prayed for me, the music you shared, the long conversations (in my head, online and in my dreams) we had, the feelings you stirred in me (and the ones I stirred in you), and the possibilities of you and I that I dreamed all these years (subconsciously or not).
I am letting you go and I am sorry it took me this long to realize that I have been holding on to you all this time. I thought I already did back in 2012, but I guess I just brushed it aside, buried it deep where my conscious thought could not recognize it and just hoped it would never resurface again. But it sometimes does.
Sometimes, when I crave deep, long conversations, I think of the what-might-have-beens between us. Sometimes, when I want to feel appreciated, I think of the times that you made me feel so special. You have become an ideal, a phantom, yes, but one that brings back good memories and feelings that make me alive once in a while.
And yes, I am probably giving you a disservice by doing all those things. You are probably with someone right now, maybe even engaged or even married. And I am probably overstepping on some unknown boundaries around you by thinking of you that way. Who knows?
I don’t even trust my feelings anymore. All I know is that I want to start things right with myself right now. I’m in-between-seasons you see and just today, I realized that for me to move forward with everything, I need to let go of everything that my heart holds dear. And that includes you.
You were so good to me. I may not know your face or the sound of your voice, but once upon a time, you let me take a peek inside your heart. And it blew me away. Then you suddenly disappeared, without a trace and I was left cherishing the experience of you all by myself. It has been years since, but to be honest, a part of me still remembers you and the me that I was when I knew you.
So I am saying goodbye to both of them now. I am letting go of that version of me and that you I once knew. I hope and pray that you are doing well. I hope you are loved the way you ought to be loved and that you love the people in your life back the same way. I pray that your life is blessed so you can bless other people’s lives as well. I ask forgiveness for anything I said or did that hurt you. There is none to forgive about you. You were a gentleman even with your silence and even if you left without saying goodbye, I understand. It must have been so awkward to end something you could not even define.
Remember me with fondness. As I do about you. It took me a while to say this but I am saying it now with a grateful heart – Thank you and goodbye.