"I left because there was no room for me. But you could tell me not to go. Say it to me. Tell me not to go." -- Stephen Sondheim. Dot in Sunday in the Park with George.
To leave someone we love is to knowingly break a vital connection. Even if we chose to leave, we wonder why it often hurts so much. But the heart isn't logical; it feels the trauma of the loss and the responsibility of being the one to say good-bye.
Love is a process; it doesn't end because we say good-bye. No matter how painful or harmful a relationship was, there were good things about it, just as there were lovable things about the other person. The challenge is to accept with grace the choice we've made and to forgive whatever hurt we've received. We can refuse to indulge in self-righteousness or indignation. Those feelings are born out of illusion of power that comes with being the one who leaves. Most of all, we can grieve the loss and then let go of the person we loved so that we can heal.