To my brother,
There are so many things that you are going to learn. There's one lesson I'm particularly excited for, and one lesson I wish for you. When this is over, when you're over the hump/across the bridge/through the storm, you'll have put yourself back together all by yourself.
There's beauty in that. There's power. From that moment on you'll live your life with the radiating knowledge that you are strong and fierce and can pick up those fractured pieces of yourself and feel the memories that each shard belongs to, and exhale, smiling.
You'll have felt more pain than you ever imagined you could bare. But you did bear it because you're strong. You're capable.
It will hurt. It will hurt a lot and for longer than you think it should.
It's OK to cry. It's OK to feel sad, and like the world is ending. Because in many ways it is. The world you created together is over, and that truly is devastatingly sad.
It's OK to feel broken. It's OK to feel like your whole body is completely shattered. You can imagine your heart as a million fractured pieces lying aimlessly on the floor. It's OK to not be ready to pick them up. It's OK to not be able to imagine having the strength to ever pick them up.
Whatever you feel is OK, except for this:
You're not allowed to blame yourself completely. You're not allowed to hate yourself. You're not allowed to think that this will always happen.
It takes two to fall in love and it takes two to break a heart.
You'll probably never love like this again. First love is different: you're naive, you're young and you've never been hurt like this. You give so much of yourself -- maybe too much of yourself. You give so much of yourself that it's hard to recognize who you are when it's over.
You lose yourself in the person, you thought that was romantic. You thought that's what love is like. And then it's over and you don't know who you are without them. So, when it is over, you haven't just lost her but you've lost yourself too. You're mourning the loss of that version of yourself, the version of yourself you came to know and love.
It's not just about rebuilding your life without her. It's about rebuilding yourself without her too. It'll be one of the hardest things you've never had to do. But you will do it. I know you will.
You must take note of the mistakes you made. Don't just blame the other person, that's no good. Don't just cut them out. Never be cruel; you loved her. Don't try hurt her just because you're sore. You can never take these things back. You don't want to regret the last sentence she heard you say, you can never unsay it. Reflect on what you did wrong (because we all do something wrong), and learn from it so you don't do all those things again.
I think that the first time we love, when we're young, we don't necessarily believe all the signs. And then we make decisions, that in retrospect, obviously would have hurt us. We don't listen to the warnings and we break our own hearts, too. If someone says they aren't ready for a relationship, believe them. If someone says they're not interested, it's true; they aren't playing hard to get. Listen to people and look after your heart.
Never use love to try and fill yourself. You're full already. You're enough just the way you are. And no one's love (or lack of love) will ever change that.
You don't want a love that's driven by fear. I've had that, and I see it in my friends sometimes. You don't want to be terrified of loosing each other, of never finding love again. You don't want to cling to each other from that place of fear. You don't want being afraid of not being together to be the motivation for staying together. You don't want the motivation for love to be the fear of losing that love.
Love must come from a beautiful, nurturing, caring, compassionate place. Love must always be beautiful, and it's not supposed to hurt you. It must make you better. It must not make you small. Never shrink so someone can love you, then they don't deserve your love.
When we fall in love for the first time we didn't truly believe something so glorious could ever happen to us. And when we lose that, we don't believe that something that spectacular will ever happen again. But brother, believe me when I say that you will fall in love again. You will, I promise.
Let yourself feel everything that you feel. Do not put a time limit on this, but do not wallow. Let the emotions wash into you and crash through you and allow yourself to be cleansed. Cry. Cry, cry, cry. Let everything hurt. Gently inspect the hole she's left, and with trembling fingers run your hands over the wounds that have not yet turned into scars. Acknowledge what you you feel. Honor it, and then let it go.
Allow yourself to hurt, but do not allow this hurt to define you. Do not allow this hurt to destroy your future relationships.
You need to be brave enough to feel everything, brave enough not to pretend to be OK and finally, you need to be brave enough to let go of all the moments you'd imagined.
You need to free your future. You need to remember that when you realize you haven't thought of her in days, it will make you want to cry. You need to remember that when you realize you don't love her anymore, it will make you feel deeply sad.
Remember that you must feel, remember that this is a process, remember to be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself. This is a non-linear process. Some days will be harder than others, and they won't happen in the order you think they should.
Remember that you were once in love. Remember it that it was beautiful, but it's over now, and that's OK.