Thursday March 3 2016

This was the easiest, yet most painful breakup


By Eugene Mugisha

We got seated and the kind waiter asked us what we would like to order. This was our spot, the one we came to for special moments. Like our first date, our anniversary, and now this. The waiter still remembered us, was pleased to see us, I wished it was for a pleasant reason that we were there again.

She asked for her cocktail, I asked for my drink. When the waiter went off to get them, I delivered the bombshell.
I told her that this would be the last time we would be together as a couple. It was not working out for me, I had decided to move on. There was no point in sugarcoating ‘the thing’.

Just as I finished delivering the relationship update, the waiter came back, all smiles and full of cheer as if we were new lovers on our first date. He had even put a little cocktail umbrella straw in her drink.
Then he left. I took a sip of my cold drink, placed the glass back down, and waited for her to say something. But she wasn’t looking at me.

She was turning the ring on her index finger, this way and that way. I could see she had heard what I had just told her, and it had sunk in. But I couldn’t read how she was dealing with it. She even seemed to barely have noticed the waiter as he fussed over her drink.

Then she lifted her glass as if to take a drink, seemed to change her mind and put it back down. All this time, she was looking at a spot somewhere to the left of the table. I was ready to give her as much time as she needed to process the information and get back to me when she is ready.

In the meantime, I thought about the past two years we had been together; two years is not a short time, a lot had happened, we had lived a lifetime in those two years.

Most of it was good, but there were also the bad. I wasn’t too happy to be doing this, but the bad was becoming more frequent than the good; it had to be done sooner than later.

She had probably seen this coming, possibly had thought of being the one who pulled the plug on the relationship. But she was the optimistic kind. She would give it a chance as long as it had a chance.

I hadn’t noticed that as my mind wandered, she had looked up at me and was waiting for me to come back to the present. She was even taking sips of her drink. She looked like she had resolved the whole thing, considering that she hadn’t even asked me to elaborate on what I meant by ‘I was moving on’.

Calmly, she thanked me for being upfront and clear, and not trying to bullshit her. She said it was okay with her, since I had made up my mind about it, and then called for the cheque.

As we waited, I wondered, what do you say to some one you just broke up with? There was so much between us, but no way to say it.

I wanted to say ‘sorry’, but what would I be apologising for exactly? I couldn’t as well say ‘thank you for the time we had been together’, that would be watering down everything we shared. I couldn’t ask her what she was going to do after this, that would be pretentious.

I thought of asking her if I could give her a lift, but she would probably decline. The bill came, she insisted on paying it, said her farewell with such finality that my idea to follow her and drive her to wherever she was headed evaporated. Of all my break ups, this one had been the ‘easiest and most peaceful’, but yet the most painful.

Tips for grieving after a breakup or divorce:

Don’t fight your feelings – It’s normal to have lots of ups and downs, and feel many conflicting emotions, including anger, resentment, sadness, relief, fear, and confusion. It’s important to identify and acknowledge these feelings. While these emotions will often be painful, trying to suppress or ignore them will only prolong the grieving process.

Talk about how you’re feeling – Even if it is difficult for you to talk about your feelings with other people, it is very important to find a way to do so when you are grieving. Knowing that others are aware of your feelings will make you feel less alone with your pain and will help you heal. Journaling can also be a helpful outlet for your feelings.

Remember that moving on is the end goal – Expressing your feelings will liberate you in a way, but it is important not to dwell on the negative feelings or to over-analyze the situation. Getting stuck in hurtful feelings like blame, anger, and resentment will rob you of valuable energy and prevent you from healing and moving forward.

Remind yourself that you still have a future – When you commit to another person, you create many hopes and dreams. It’s hard to let these dreams go. As you grieve the loss of the future you once envisioned, be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old ones.

Know the difference between a normal reaction to a breakup and depression – Grief can be paralyzing after a breakup, but after a while, the sadness begins to lift. Day by day, and little by little, you start moving on. However, if you don’t feel any forward momentum, you may be suffering from depression.